Summit Stage drivers red over threat to transportation funding |

Summit Stage drivers red over threat to transportation funding

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News

The Summit Stage casts its colors in navy and gold, but today drivers will be wearing red, officials say, to urge the public to speak out for federal transportation funding in jeopardy in Washington.

“It is essential to our operations here in Summit County and to other systems nationwide that steps are taken to keep funding at least at current levels,” Stage director John Jones stated. “We are wearing red today to raise awareness of our funding situation.”

On their temporarily red uniforms, Stage bus drivers will be wearing logos reading “Don’t X out Public Transportation” to bring awareness to the precarious situation around the reauthorization of federal transportation funding.

“While we are fortunate at the present time that Congress has passed a continuing resolution to fund SAFETEA-LU, the current transportation reauthorization through March 31, 2012, proposals for a new authorization bill currently include deep cuts to public transportation funding for both operations and capital replacement programs,” Jones stated.

Federal transportation funding legislation, originally set to expire after several extensions at the end of September, has been briefly extended into next year when it will be reexamined further.

Currently, the Colorado Department of Transportation receives nearly $400 million of a $1 billion annual budget from the federal government. It is money that would be in danger if current funding levels are not maintained.

“We hope our customers will take an opportunity to urge their representatives in Washington to keep public transportation services adequately funded so that we can continue to offer full services for work, shopping recreation and other essential purposes,” Jones stated.

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