How the lift is paid for
December 1, 2016
The towns of Winter Park and Fraser are still in the process of developing a way to divide the costs of transit expenditures for 2016. The transit system is still developing, and it is not as easy as splitting the costs straight down the middle. There are many factors in determining how money is owed. Parts of the costs are straightforward: if the bus routes goes into both towns, the cost is split proportionally. Other areas, such as transit marketing, purchasing buses, and maintenance costs are still a developing agreement between the towns, and have not yet been determined.
Both towns have recently added sales tax increases to their budgets in order to maintain the transit systems. Fraser collects a one percent sales tax to fund transit, trails and capital project. Winter Park collects a two percent sales tax to fund transit and trails.
Winter Park's Transit and Trails Fund accounts for the funds collected for transit services and trails programs. In November 2015 Winter Park assumed responsibility for year-round transit services for the Town and contiguous areas to the Town. Transit is provided by the Town through a contract with an outside transit provider (First Transit). Transit services are funded through the two percent transit and trails sales tax, intergovernmental revenues, and user fees. 2016 was the first full year of transit services provided through the Town whereas in prior years Winter Park Resort provided the transit services with funding from the Town. Coupled with the transit and trails sales tax and funding from the State of Colorado the Town is able to expand the service.
The Lift began running its winter schedule on Nov. 14. The Full operating schedule will begin on Dec. 19, which includes a difference between weekday service and weekend and holiday service for some routes.
Fraser approved a payment to Winter Park in the amount of $398,025.91 for the 2016 transit expenditures at their November 16 meeting. The payment only includes invoice amounts and does not include Winter Park's personnel costs, marketing costs, new bus acquisition, bus painting and maintenance costs, consultant fees, legal counsel review, or the RideHop smartphone app that was recently introduced. The towns are still working out the rest of the expenditures. These costs will be addressed in the potential Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that the towns of Fraser and Winter Park have discussed entering, but they have not done so yet.
The costs of routes that operate in Winter Park and Fraser are split up by minutes-per-hour. For example, the minutes-per-hour for the Summer route apportion to 40 percent Fraser and 60 percent Winter Park. This same time analysis can be extended to the Black and Night Lift routes as well as the Link Call and Ride.
The Purple day route timing is split evenly between Fraser, Winter Park and the unincorporated Meadow Ridge area. According to Fraser's resolution of payment to Winter Park, the Night Purple route circulated through both Fraser and Meadow Ridge, and should be apportioned 50 percent Fraser and 50 percent Meadow Ridge. If a route only circulates in Winter Park, the cost of that route is not divided with Fraser.
Winter Park and Fraser are not the only contributors to the transit budget.
There are several other ways that the system is funded. Winter Park administered and managed contracts with 14 HOAs (homeowner associations) in the Meadow Ridge area in the amount of $73,964, all of which has been paid for by HOAs.
Grand County paid $14,000 for 2016 transit costs for contribution to the unincorporated parts of the county that have bus stops, such as Meadow Ridge.
Winter Park applied for and received a grant from CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) in the amount of $100,000 for 2016 transit costs, which helped to provide service in Fraser via the Black and summer routes
All the buses are now ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. According to Fraser's resolution, Paratransit is an essential service that is required to be provided in Fraser, Winter Park, and unincorporated Grand County within three-quarters of a mile from any fixed route. This route is split three ways between Fraser, Winter Park, and Meadow Ridge.
The Granby route serves four stop locations in Fraser. There are 27 total stops on the route, which calculate as follows: Winter Park – 10 stops (37 percent); Fraser – four stops (14.8 percent); Granby – six stops (22.2 percent); Grand County – seven stops (30 percent). Granby does not contribute any money to the transit service.
Under agreement, Winter Park Resort is required to contribute $300,000 annually to be directed towards capital or operating of the transit system. More revenue is brought in, however, from sales tax collected at the resort through the town of Winter Park.
The Lift began running its winter schedule on Nov. 14. The Full operating schedule will begin on Dec. 19, which includes a difference between weekday service and weekend and holiday service for some routes. TAC (Transit Advisory Committee) meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month at 4 p.m. at the Winter Park Town Hall. The meetings are open to the public.