Breckenridge bus system receives $3 million in grants |

Breckenridge bus system receives $3 million in grants

The free Breckenridge bus system will receive more than $3 million in state transportation grants.

Breckenridge Free Ride Transit System learned recently that Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will award funding originating from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Breckenridge Free Ride will receive two new buses in 2015, three buses in 2016, and two buses in 2017 to replace seven older buses in its fleet of 13 buses. In addition to the bus replacements, Breckenridge will be using $185,000 of the funding to retrofit the garage doors on its bus storage facility.

Breckenridge will also use $360,000 in funds to perform mid-life cycle refurbishments on its two diesel-electric hybrid buses. The refurbishment project will include a new engine, transmission, flooring, exterior paint, battery-pack replacement and restoration to the original specifications for each bus.

“Breckenridge has certainly been progressive and in front of the emerging transit technology.”Rob Andresentransit grants unit manager at CDOT’s Division of Transit & Rail

“The refurbishments will enable us to meet the full expected lifecycle for each bus of 12 years or 500,000 miles,” said transit manager Maribeth Lewis-Baker in a press release. “The battery life on a hybrid bus averages six to seven years and it is important to schedule such large-scale maintenance on a preventative basis, rather than waiting for the batteries to completely fail.”

The buses are due to be refurbished during the off-season in 2016.

The final project CDOT awarded is $52,000 in funds towards the development of a multimodal (bike, pedestrian, trail and transit bus) trip planner that will offer directions to assist the public with trip planning in Breckenridge through the Free Ride website,

CDOT will leverage the Breckenridge project by being able to provide the developed shell to other transit agencies in the state in which to customize trip planners for their own individual websites.

Architecture is currently in development in the Netherlands that will soon provide the ability to link all of the various trip planners for a regional and statewide ability for people to plan their multimodal transportation trips.

“Breckenridge has certainly been progressive and in front of the emerging transit technology. The multimodal trip planner was identified in the State Transit Plan as a strategic goal,” Rob Andresen, transit grants unit manager at CDOT’s Division of Transit & Rail, said in a press release. “We are very excited about the project and how it can potentially revolutionize access to all modes of transportation on a statewide basis. With the impending launch of the state’s new ‘Bustang’ regional connector bus service, one can see the possibilities for how important a trip planner could be.”

Someone could plug in an address in Denver, a destination address in Breckenridge, and then receive the directions of how to make that trip happen, once the entire project is completed. CDOT will help fund the first step with Breckenridge’s multimodal trip planner project in 2016.

All of the capital grants will require the town of Breckenridge to contribute a 20 percent local match to receive the 80 percent portion of federal or state funding for the projects. Similar to the Summit Stage, this capital funding will enable the Breckenridge Free Ride to maintain a state of good repair for its fleet and is much appreciated to help advance the local projects.

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