Mountain Express receives extra money for additional services

Two towns and CBMR pony up funds

There are several times each year when people want to stay out late at the local bars and imbibe. Given the regular schedule of the Mountain Express shuttle buses, this could be difficult, since normally the buses stop running before midnight. Those who live in or are staying in Mt. Crested Butte but choose to enjoy the establishments of Crested Butte could have a difficult time getting home.



So the towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte along with Crested Butte Mountain Resort are stepping up to cover the costs for extended service at certain times of the year.
The Mountain Express requested the financial assistance to assist with the funding of late-night bus runs during events and holidays like Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve, and St. Patrick’s Day. They also receive requests for late-night service when certain bands play in town or during special events like Big Air on Elk. Mountain Express currently spends approximately $4,000 per year on the late-night runs, at $65 an hour per bus.
The additional funds will cover extra service requests, not just late-night service requests. For example, this Saturday, March 20, the buses will start at 6:25 a.m. so people can get to the Community Health Fair being held at Mountaineer Square.
Mt. Crested Butte has already committed $2,000 for the effort. CBMR is chipping in $1,500 and Crested Butte is heading toward contributing at least $2,000 at the next meeting on April 5.
Mt. Crested Butte councilperson Gary Keiser, who is also on the Mountain Express board, spoke to some of the issues related to providing the extra services. “We’ve denied some requests because of funding and end up with people downtown with no way to get home,” Keiser said. “We don’t want to eliminate these services, so we’d like to request $2,000 each from the three entities.”
During its March 2 meeting, the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council moved to approve $2,000 in funding, to come from the municipal transportation fund generated from a 1% sales tax. Crested Butte will use a similar fund to contribute money.
But the Crested Butte councilmembers wanted more information before officially making the contribution. They asked for a list of the groups and events that have been funded in the past and those that were turned down due to a shortfall of funding. They also want to see the number of people who have been transported with late-night service.
“It’s a great thing and I just want to make sure there is enough money to cover the requests,” said Crested Butte councilperson Phoebe Wilson.
The council indicated they intend to contribute at least $2,000 to the effort.

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