Town of Winter Park, transit finding balance for services
November 22, 2016
The Winter Park Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) discussed changes to their bus routes at their November, 21 meeting. The main topic of discussion was changes that have been made to the Lift's Orange, Brown, and Lime lines. The Lift began operating their winter bus schedule on November 14. The Lime Line is new and begins and ends at Cooper Creek Square and services Vasquez Run, Woodspur, Moose Trail/Foxtail, Silverado II, and Kings Crossing Solar Townhomes. The Lime Line operates on weekdays.
The concerns came from residents of subdivisions where service has been eliminated or combined with another bus stop. Some routes do not go to Winter Park Resort on the weekdays, which was another concern of some residents. The changes have come after evaluation by the TAC of ridership numbers, and certain times and days when ridership is the highest.
One suggestion from a citizen at the meeting concerned Grand County's four-day school week and residents that start their weekend on Friday rather than Saturday. Some bus routes only go to the resort on weekends. The citizen pointed out that many students are in ski programs, and take the bus on Fridays because their parents are at work. She suggested that the TAC consider Friday as part of the weekend for the bus schedule to allow those students to commute to the resort on the bus. The TAC agreed that this was a good idea, and is taking into consideration how they can make Fridays work with their weekend schedule. The TAC said they would reevaluate the ridership numbers to find a compromise for the Friday skiers.
Other citizens in attendance said they were concerned that the bus lines no longer provide service directly to Pine Cone Lane and the Tall Pine condominiums. The TAC agreed that this was a problem and will look into a way to provide service to those areas. Transit Manager Michael Koch pointed out the challenge of finding a balance of transit services when ridership numbers are low for certain areas.
There will be an event to celebrate the new lift busses from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30 at the Peak Bistro and Brewery. The event will include free appetizers, drinks, and giveaways. The news busses are equipped with more room for skis, racks for bikes, and are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible.
The new busses are equipped with a GPS tracking system through the mobile app RideHop. Using the app you can track the exact location of the bus to know the precise time you need to be at the bus stop without having to stand in the cold for an unnecessary amount of time. To find the Winter Park transit system on the app, type in the code "lift."'