RFTA Invests in ‘Greener’ Buses
KREX News Room
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo.- The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) is opening their doors to something new.
RFTA has taken their first step to convert to "greener" fuel, as they invest in a $16.4 million project that will revitalize the RFTA bus lines. The popular transit system is adding four new fuel efficient buses to their line up this month, which will operate on compressed gas and reduce their carbon footprint.
“Looking into the future, we are hoping to operate our VelociRFTA BRT system,” said Dan Blankenship, CEO and president of RFTA.
Officials are hopeful these new enhancements will draw in more people as they continue to see a slight increase in commuter ridership.
“Given your past history, if we improve the quality and the convenience of our services, more people will use them,” said Blankenship.
The new buses are something rides, like Victoria Garcia, say could be a win-win for everyone.
“I hate pollution,” said Garcia. “So it’s kind of hard to think about protecting ourselves from pollution and also getting everyone to work and school.”
Their new station is also proving to be an extra worthwhile investment. With three new compressors to fill up the fuel-efficient buses, and their very own pump station, Maintenance Director Kenny Osier says it will be a whole lot easier to care for the new buses.
“We are getting away from certain filters we have seen on diesel engines, and we are hoping that this is a lot less work,” said Osier. “We know the mileage is going to be better, it’s cheaper fuel since its domestic fuel and also, produces fewer emissions.”
There will eventually be a total of 22 buses in service and when completed. The new fuel-efficient buses will save the transit authority nearly $100,000 a year in fuel costs.
The federal government is paying for roughly 57 percent of the entire project.
Final testing is scheduled for Wednesday, and the last of the four buses should be shipped on Thursday.
Officials say their new bus services should be up and running by the 2013 Winter X Games which is on January 24th.