Briefs: RTA by Katherine Nettles

Buses are popular

During the Gunnison County Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) meeting in August, RTA executive director Scott Truex reported that throughout the Gunnison Valley, bus ridership continued its record ridership increases this summer. “Bus ridership was up 25% in June over last year and July was up 38%,” he said. “So, people are riding the bus.”

Fat bike racks?

Truex said the RTA has been getting requests to get bike racks for the buses that hold bigger bike tires, so the RTA is looking at a couple of models with wider bike rack trays.  Truex said they are fairly expensive so it won’t happen this year, but may be considered in the future. The downside, he noted, is that they wouldn’t hold kids’ bikes. “It’s a tradeoff,” he said.  

Whetstone bus storage almost ready

The new bus storage facility in Whetstone Industrial Park is almost finished, and is just waiting on some electric work. Truex said they are hoping to have a certificate of occupancy in the next couple weeks. 

Airport helps stage wildfire fighting operations

Gunnison Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) manager Rick Lamport said the airport has been helpful for wildland fire response helicopters running operations to fight the Lowline Fire, an approximately 1,800 acre wildfire burning northwest of Gunnison over the past two months. “They had anywhere from six to eight helicopters running through there,” he said, at the fire’s early stages. “It highlights the strategic benefit of having an airport close by that was able to support that.” He said they are still operating two helicopters for the effort as the wildfire continues burning in a relatively contained area.

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