Our bus system gets an award — really?

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

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To be honest, I did a double-take when I saw this headline: "Mountain Metropolitan Transit Chosen as 2011 Large Transit System of the Year."

What the ...

Here's the thing: There are many cities and towns where owning a car is unnecessary. Like Boulder. Or Denver. But relying on the bus in Colorado Springs is not advisable, especially since recession-era cuts decimated what was already a lackluster system. A trip that takes a half-hour in a car can take you hours on Mountain Metropolitan Transit buses.

All of which left me wondering, "How the heck did we beat Denver with its super-fancy light rail?"

But then I read a little further. Turns out MMT was being recognized for offering high-need services against all odds. And yeah, MMT does deserve an award for that.

Read on:

Mountain Metropolitan Transit Chosen as 2011 Large Transit System of the Year

Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT), the Transit Services Division of the City of Colorado Springs, was honored for its contribution to the community. The Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) awarded MMT the 2011 Large Transit System of the Year award. The awards ceremony was held as part of the annual transit conference hosted by CASTA and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Colorado Springs City Council approved a resolution recognizing and celebrating the enthusiasm, tenacity, and dedication of the Transit Services Division staff.

CASTA highlighted the tremendous effort put forth by MMT to continue to provide transit services to the region despite a 50 percent service reduction due to budget cuts. Also of note, the significant territory that MMT covers including Colorado Springs, a city larger than Denver in terms of square miles, Manitou Springs, the City of Fountain, various Ute Pass mountain communities and the FREX express service between Colorado Springs and Denver.

“Mountain Metropolitan Transit has faced some unique challenges and I’m very proud of our staff and their continued focus on customer service. We strive to provide the very best transit service that we can despite the limited funding,” commented Craig Blewitt, transit services division manager.

Mountain Metropolitan Transit provides fixed-route bus service and Metro Mobility ADA paratransit service for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, as well as other services such as ridesharing, vanpool, FrontRange Express and the Ute Pass Express commuter services. For added convenience, Mountain Metropolitan Transit offers bike racks on all buses through its bike-n-bus program.

For additional information regarding Mountain Metropolitan Transit please visit www.mmtransit.com, or call (719) 385-RIDE (7433).

Comments (1)

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The residents of El Paso County still pay 1% extra in sales tax for the PPRTA, 10% of which was to establish and expand fixed-route bus service to unincorporated areas of El Paso County, and was specifically NOT to be used to subsidize service to the City of Colorado Springs. Yet, that is exactly what happened in 2008 with Mountain Metro retracted service to the "urban core" of Colorado Springs. It doesn't matter if they are great in other areas if they cannot maintain even minimum service that they are REQUIRED to.

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Posted by rich8n on 10/12/2011 at 12:37 PM
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