Summit Stage bus changes pick up momentum in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin April 1, 2013
FRISCO – Some of them are big changes, others just minor adjustments of a few feet. But drivers say the reorientation of 13 Summit Stage bus stops across the county will save time and improve safety on some of the system’s busiest routes.
“No single bus stop change will make a big impact,” a route committee report on the proposed changes states. “But collectively several changes can help us achieve our goals to reduce travel time in major corridors.”
It’s the most recent in a series of proposals that have come out of the employee-driven route committee to improve the transit system, enhance service or cut costs without greatly impacting riders. The committee’s last plan, dubbed Scenario 6, presented a package of surgical cuts to lesser-used routes to save the Stage $300,000 a year and avoid more sweeping cost-saving strategies that would have reduced the system to hourly service all summer.
The bus stop modification plan would target a different problem: extended travel times between major hubs, including Frisco to Breckenridge and Silverthorne to Keystone by identifying the areas that are a drag on existing routes and changing them.
The new stops are also positioned to improve safety, although drivers say they won’t eliminate the risk.
“None of our existing bus stops is a perfectly safe, perfectly ideal location,” driver and route committee member Bruce Camping said. “None of our proposals will be perfectly safe or perfectly ideal.”
The proposed changes attempt to eliminate unnecessary detours from main roads and implement more stops where needed on highways 6 and 9.
Adjustments to the Frisco to Breckenridge route, for example, would relocate a bus stop from 6th and Main Street in Frisco to 7th and Main Street, removing a quarter of a mile from the route. Similar changes made at the County Commons and the high school shave minutes off the commute and bringing the route closer to the targeted 30-minute travel time from Frisco to Breckenridge that has long been a goal for transit officials.
The route committee also expects the proposed changes to greatly reduce the impacts of a construction project on Hwy. 9, which will require CDOT to close lanes between Fairview Boulevard and the high school over the next two summers.
County officials say the plans are plausible and some of the proposed changes could be made as soon as the coming summer season.
“Some of them will be really inexpensive to do, maybe just a matter of getting approval from a local jurisdiction or (the Colorado Department of Transportation),” assistant county manager Thad Noll said. “I think what we’ll do next month is start going through them in detail and see which ones we can implement this summer.”
Each of the stop and route realignments are being considered individually with various town and county officials and other stakeholders.