Eagle County Regional collaboration is needed to help address the transportation, mobility, workforce, and climate needs of the Eagle River Valley. This process has been underway since late 2019 and began in response to regional business leaders wanting better transportation solutions for employees and visitors.
Similar areas in Colorado, including the Roaring Fork Valley and Gunnison County, have used RTAs and regional cooperation to fund transit needs and improve their transportation services for local users and visitors. We believe that now is the time for Eagle County to work toward collaborative solutions that will increase transit and transportation options, while helping employees get to work safely and visitors to enjoy their Eagle County experience.
Now, you have the opportunity to formally approve a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and allow it to have funding through a dedicated half-cent sales tax. The benefits to this are numerous.
- Enhance Existing Regional Transit Service
- Develop and implement a fare-free transit zone with expanded service, which may include all or portions of Avon, Vail, Minturn, and Beaver Creek, to better meet both visitor and workforce needs, reduce congestion, and limit parking demand.
- Enhancements to ECO-Transit routes be introduced as soon as equipment, staffing, and facilities allow.
- Promote the use of public transit for locals and tourists to encourage mass transit versus getting in their cars and adding to our carbon footprint and parking challenges. Taking ECO is the Best thing for our beautiful mountain environment.
- Develop and Implement New Routes
Within 12 months of Authority establishment:
- Eagle-Gypsum Circulator Service
- Express Service targeting peak workforce commute hours.
- Explore feasibility of offering additional regional services that may be identified by the RTA.
- Accelerate Conversion to Zero-Emission Operations
- Conversion of ECO’s existing Highway 6 bus service to a zero-emission platform.
- Complete conversion to zero emission buses is anticipated to occur between 5 to 10 years (2028 to 2033).
- Development of zero-emission plans, timelines and budgets for additional routes and facilities.
- Invest in Transit-Related Facilities & Infrastructure
- Allocate a portion of available revenues to upgrade existing facilities to support planned service expansion.
- Funds will be set aside in a capital improvement fund to support fleet replacement and future construction of essential transit-related and transit- supportive facilities.
- Support Local Air Service
- Support expanded year-round air service for residents and visitors of Eagle County to replace existing Air Alliance contributions.
- Develop & Implement First-Last Mile Solutions
- Design, financially support and implement, with partnerships as appropriate, first and last mile improvements to enhance transit ridership, including park and ride facilities, bus stops, pedestrian crossings, e-bike sharing, on-demand micro transit, and community vanpool programs.
Big ideas require big solutions. Transportation and transit improvements in the Eagle River Valley are a necessity for our community, our workforce, our businesses, and our environment. Public transportation provides people with mobility and access to employment, community resources, medical care, and recreational opportunities throughout the valley.
We encourage you to vote YES for Eagle Valley Transit and to support these grassroots, business led effort that have brought this comprehensive solution to the ballot.
Bob Boselli is owner of O’Bos Enterprises, owners/operators of numerous retail stores in the Vail Valley and Brian Nolan is owner of Group970, owners/operators of numerous restaurants in the Vail Valley. They’ve serve in several community leadership roles for decades and helped initiate the RTA effort.