The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is receiving a $13 million grant toward the construction of its new regional transit center in Glenwood Springs. The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is the second batch of federal funding RFTA has received this year, following $11.48 million from the Federal Transit Administration.
The development in Glenwood Springs will serve as a hub for RFTA’s operations along Highway 82. CEO Dan Blankenship said the bus company has outgrown its current maintenance facility, and this new center will allow RFTA to keep pace with increasing ridership as the valley’s population grows.
“Our ability to meet that future demand is dependent upon our ability to store and maintain more vehicles here,” he said.
In the last ten years, ridership has increased by more than a million annual passenger trips.
Designed to house about 35 buses, the existing facility currently holds up to about 60.
“Everything is very cramped,” Blankenship said. “Circulation is tight, very constrained. It creates the potential that there can be accidents with buses running into other buses or people getting injured.”
Blankenship said RFTA has been applying for grants for this project for about “half a dozen years,” in addition to partial funding coming from property taxes. Building costs for the new center are estimated to total about $50 million. Construction is slated to wrap up in late 2023.