Breck 150 celebration causes transit changes |

Breck 150 celebration causes transit changes

summit daily news

BRECKENRIDGE – The Breckenridge Free Ride transit system will alter routes today to accommodate activities for the Breck 150 Grand Celebration.

Closure of Ridge Street and Washington Avenue throughout the day will require the transit system to alter the Purple and Wellington routes into the evening, according to a press release from the Town of Breckenridge.

No other routes are to be affected during the day, though the entire system will cease operation between 9:45-10:45 p.m. because of a fireworks display scheduled for 10 p.m.

The fireworks are to be launched from the Gondola North parking lot, and the area near the fireworks operations is to be secured for safety.

Buses are to resume service from Breckenridge Station starting at 10:45 p.m. and to continue service until the scheduled ending times.

The number of Breckenridge Free Ride passengers in Breckenridge is up for the year but down for the summer.

Between Jan. 1, 2008 and July 31, 2008, the system transported 445,272 passengers. In 2009, some 534,855 passengers were transported during the same time frame.

But much of that use was during the ski season, when January 2009 broke the all-time record for passengers in a single month, at 154,624. February was also popular, but trends changed as temperatures increased.

“We are seeing an average reduction of about 9,000-10,000 passengers per month this summer, with our reduced summer schedule, compared to last summer,” according to an e-mail from town transit manager Maribeth Lewis.

Part of the reduction may be attributed to a reduced schedule for summer service. But occupancy rates for local housing may be impacting passenger numbers as well.

For example, one local housing area is down 19 percent in occupancy from last summer, according to the e-mail.

As for Summit Stage, the two Breckenridge routes are down more than 25 percent from 2008, according to an e-mail from Summit Stage transit director John Jones.

The Frisco to Breckenridge route total to date in 2009 is 25,103 passengers, down 26.7 percent from 2008. The Boreas Pass route’s total is 4,636, down 25.6 percent from 2008.

“We attribute this decrease to the economic downturn,” according to an e-mail from Jones.

For Summit Stage overall, ridership is down about 7 percent from 2008.

In other news, Lewis was recently appointed to serve on Colorado Department of Transportation’s committee on efficiency and accountability.

The committee was formed this year to advise the state legislature on transportation matters.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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