ECO Transit, Avon bus system snag federal funds for critical upgrades

By Real Vail
Real AspenOctober 5, 2010

ECO Transit and Avon's bus system are in line to receive a good chunk of change to repair facilities and equipment, U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced in a joint statement Monday.

Grants totaling almost $19 million are headed to Eagle County's bus system along with transit systems in Avon, Aspen's Roaring Fork Valley, Boulder, Fort Collins and Loveland as part of a government initiative announced in May 2010 called the “State of Good Repair Program.” The grant program is designed to help make essential repairs and maintenance on bus and rail systems throughout the country.

“Thousands of Coloradans rely on buses to get to work and school, and regular maintenance is critical to keep those buses safe and efficient,” Senator Udall said in a prepared statement. “Especially in a time of tight budgets, these grants will help create jobs, keep our mass transit systems running smoothly – and ensure that workers and employers have transportation they can rely on.”

“We need to ensure our transportation system is safe and effective to help Colorado build a 21st -century economy,” added Senator Bennet. “Reliable transportation keeps Coloradans connected to jobs and schools and has the power to expand opportunities and markets for small businesses. Making these improvements to our transportation system will help boost our local economy, reduce gridlock and protect the quality of our air and water.”

Funding for Colorado came from four separate grants:

· $14 million to the Colorado Department of Transportation in coordination with CASTA to repair facilities and equipment for Eagle County, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, the town of Avon, and the city of Boulder.

· $3.6 million to do chronically deferred maintenance for Denver Regional Transportation District at the Boulder and Platte facilities.

· $1.2 million to enable the city of Fort Collins to buy replacement alternate-fueled vehicles

· $103,360 to help the city of Loveland buy a replacement vehicle and retrofit vehicles with hydraulic hybrid technology in conjunction with a local company, “Lightning Hybrids.”

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