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City of Colorado Springs / Transit Service / News

Citizen Help Direct Future Regional Public Transit Services


Input Will Address Potential Changes in Governance and Funding

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 24, 2011) - The Future of Regional Transit study team is encouraging input from a geographic cross section of citizens by rotating steering committee meetings to locations throughout the region.  Since the study began last May, the steering committee has met in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Monument and Falcon.  The next meeting takes place 1 to 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4, at the Fountain Valley Senior Center, 5745 Southmoor Drive, Fountain 80817. The meeting is open to the public with a public comment/question period included. Contact Mountain Metropolitan Transit at (719) 385-5974 for ADA accommodations.  Mapquest Link: http://mapq.st/ecgM72 

 

Nearing the end of the study, the Future of Regional Transit Steering Committee has determined that there is a definite need to change how the region's current public transit system is governed and funded.   The committee eliminated the ?status quo" from its list of options noting that the current structure doesn't adequately serve the region's population or those who depend on public transit for rides to work and for basic human services.  The Steering Committee is in the process of determining what level of service citizens want in regional public transit as well as identifying a more reliable and stable funding source for regional public transit services and a governance platform better aligned for our region.

 

City of Colorado Springs funding for public transit operations has been reduced from $11.9 million in 2008 to $2.6 million in 2010. As a result, transit service has been cut approximately in half, significantly affecting those who rely on the service for work, school, and medical appointments. The balance of local funding is provided by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), which includes residents of Colorado Springs and unincorporated El Paso County, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, and Ramah.  Those non-Colorado Springs residents contribute funding for transit service without being represented in the current transit system governance and decision-making process.  Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT) is currently the only provider of fixed-route bus service in the Pikes Peak region and has jurisdiction to serve a growing regional population of more than 600,000 residents. "It is actually only serving approximately three fourths of the urbanized area due to funding constraints and cuts," said Craig Blewitt, MMT manager.

 

 

During the Feb. 4 meeting the Steering Committee will narrow its recommendation for regional public transit governance and a funding structure from the options it has considered, including:

  • Division of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) with a vehicle registration fee
  • Division of PPRTA with legislated sales tax
  • Title 32 district with property tax
  • New RTA with property tax
  • New RTA with legislated sales tax
  • New legislation with sales tax

 

In addition to attending the meetings, citizens are encouraged to fill out the study survey to share their opinions about the region's need for public transit and how it should be governed and funded.  A copy of the survey can be requested by calling (719) 385-5974 or it can be completed online on the study Web site: http://www.springsgov.com/units/transit/FutureofRegionalTransit/Study_Survey.doc

 

Steering committee members include representatives from each of the municipalities and jurisdictions within the study area, other government agencies, community organizations and citizen groups. The committee will provide its recommendation, which will include a plan to implement the recommendation, to the City of Colorado Springs City Council in March 2011. For more information about the Future of Regional Transit Study, visit the study Web site: www.FutureofRegionalTransit.com.