Big money for buses, but not bus service

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Our buses: All dressed up with no place to go
  • Our buses: All dressed up with no place to go

Apparently, our U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are thinking of us. In an e-mail, the two touted more than $4 million in funding coming to Colorado Springs for bus service. Actually, though, the money is for buses, bus stops, buildings and equipment.

Which is all well and good, but it unfortunately won't help the Springs expand its bus service, or bring back the night and weekend service that got axed this year. Federal money is often for "capital needs only" — no "operations needs" like paychecks, and that seems to be the case with these Recovery Act funds.

Oh well. Money is money, right?

Here are the details from the release:

Funding Supports Employees who Rely on Bus Service to get to Work, Will Create American Manufacturing and Construction Jobs

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced that the city of Colorado Springs will receive over $4.2 million from the Federal Transit Administration to improve bus service. The funding, which was made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will pay for badly needed maintenance, expand transit service, and create jobs.

The $4,238,893 in funding will enable the city to purchase three support maintenance vehicles, 30 paratransit vans, and security equipment, and do construction on bus stops and passenger and administrative facilities. In addition to the funding for Colorado Springs, the Colorado Department of Transportation will receive $2,152,195 to rebuild two buses, and purchase three replacement buses and a van.

“Thousands of Coloradans rely on bus service to get to work every day, including many people who have disabilities that make it difficult to drive,” Senator Udall said. “So bus service is a critical part of keeping people on the job. But this funding will also put construction workers on the job and boost American manufacturing across the supply chain.”

“These resources will put more Coloradans on the job while providing a much-needed service to get people to their place of work,” Senator Bennet said. “Improving and expanding the availability of bus services is a win-win for people in need of reliable public transportation options and Coloradans looking for good-paying jobs in Colorado’s construction and manufacturing sectors.”

The Colorado funding was part of a national announcement of 191 new projects in 42 states and Puerto Rico, which will help transform the nation’s infrastructure and support thousands of jobs across the country. More information can be found on the FTA website by clicking HERE.

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