Government tracker: Changes coming for Eagle County bus system
Ryan Summerlin March 6, 2013
Vail Town Council, March 5 work session and evening meeting.Present: Kevin Foley, Susie Tjossem, Ludwig Kurz, Margaret Rogers, Greg Moffet, Kerry Donovan and Mayor Andy Daly.Issue: Update on county bus service plans.Who they talked to: Kelley Collier, director of ECO Transit.What they talked about: Collier gave council members an update about the transit agency’s plans for the next few years. That plan will change the county’s bus service to a “spine” system, with buses mostly running up and down Interstate 70, making just one stop in each town. Getting people to those “spine” stops will be “circulator” buses. In Avon and Vail, those buses will be town-run. In Edwards and Eagle-Vail, ECO Transit will provide the service.Collier said the changes will mean quicker trips for commuters and moving fewer empty buses around the valley.What’s next? The changes will begin in time for the 2013-14 ski season.Issue: Update on cell phone service in Vail.Who they talked to: Town technology director Ken Braden.What they talked about: Braden told the council that AT&T will have antenna equipment delivered to a new tower at Vail’s public works site this week, and expects to have those antennas up and running in the next 30 to 45 days.Braden said that should improve service in town. By the start of next ski season, a system of antennas throughout Vail Village and Lionshead should have that area fully capable of handling new “4G” phones and devices using AT&T. Verizon and Sprint customers seem to work well with the new technology.Braden said the phone system was overwhelmed by last weekend’s Burton U.S. Open Snowboard event, but that the town’s wireless Internet system worked well.”People just jumped on the wi-fi,” Braden said.What’s next? Work through the spring and summer.Issue: Slowdown of Ford Park improvements.How they voted: 6-1, with Rogers opposed.Why did they do this? Council members wanted to slow down the approval process for the second phase of improvements at Ford Park.”We want to see if (the first improvements) has affected the current management plan of the park,” Donovan said.The council will go on a site visit to Ford Park March 19, followed by discussion at the council’s afternoon work session. The Vail Planning and Environmental Commission will hear the results of that discussion at its April 22 meeting.