Nation’s first rural bus rapid transit system opens in Colorado

| September 9, 2013

Federal Transit Administration officials gathered with the Roaring Forks Valley community to celebrate the opening of the first rural BRT line in the nation. (Photo: FTA)

Federal Transit Administration officials gathered with the Roaring Forks Valley community to celebrate the opening of the first rural BRT line in the nation. (Photo: FTA)

The VelociRFTA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line opened last week in the Roaring Forks Valley region of Colorado.

The system is the first rural BRT line in nation and will allow commuters in the Glenwood Springs area to travel about 40 miles to Aspen in an hour — half the travel time of a traditional bus.

The BRT system features nine bus stations with plenty of parking for commuters. The buses are spaced ten minutes apart during peak hours, and they travel in mixed traffic with designated bus lanes and timed traffic lights.

The $46.2 million project received $25 million in funds from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Very Small Starts Capital Investment Grant program, while the remaining $21.2 million was financed locally.

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