Letter: Why more don’t ride the Eagle Co. bus | VailDaily.com

Letter: Why more don’t ride the Eagle Co. bus

Lance Andrews, Edwards

With the nation gripped in financial woes over the soaring prices for fuel, I urged the spirit in me to find out how hard it is to use alternative transportation in our fair valley, and also to leave a smaller carbon footprint as a whole.

So, with plenty of time before work, I went online to the Eagle County Transit’s Web site, and found the route I needed to get me where I was going. My plan was to leave my vehicle at the park and ride in Edwards, take the bus to Lionshead in Vail at 2:09 pm, and return on the same route at 11:41 p.m. after work. The ride was relaxing, although it took 45 minutes from door to door. The driver was pleasant, the bus clean, and the people friendly. I was pleased and thought this might be what I was looking for. That was before my return trip.

Door to door it took 1 hour and 10 minutes and I’ll explain why: First, I neglected to notice that the buses do not go to Freedom Park in the evening, so I found myself having to get off at the nearest stop, which is Bull Run/River Pines stop across from the thrift shop. Then, I had to choose between crossing the bridge and possibly becoming filler for a pothole at that wee hour, or a darkened pedestrian bridge filled with the unknown towards Freedom Park. I chose the latter. From that point, I proceeded slowly towards and over the pedestrian bridge, with virtually no light to guide me. It took me about 20 minutes to navigate the bike path, then a rock strewn field, to my vehicle. As you can tell, I was very dejected.

Why is one demographic overlooked, while others seem to have been accommodated? I haven’t a clue. As I waited for my bus to go home, a bus pulled up that read “Gypsum I-70” with no one aboard. Now I’m sure the bus picked up riders at the Transportation Center, but how many? Couldn’t that bus be used for town-to-town drop-offs with stops in Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum? Seems like an awful waste of bus for one stop.

That’s a major reason why people will not ride the current bus routes that are posted, because when we leave work, the last thing we need is to hit every stop on the line before we reach our destination.There are a lot of workers out there who have to endure this because they have no choice, but there’s also a lot more who own vehicles who would prefer to take the bus, but the logistics just don’t add up.

As a business, shouldn’t the Transit authority figures be held accountable for such shortcomings? If you combine routes, you wouldn’t need more employees to operate them, and you would make more money by adding ridership, and filling a much-needed niche for us downvalley folks with a heart of green who enjoy conserving energy!

To the county reps in charge of lighting: As a long-term resident of Edwards, lighting is a big issue. A lot of residents like to go to the bars or restaurants and then walk home, but that’s usually impossible for fear of the darkness. How about some simple motion-detecting lights so they won’t be on continuously? Is there anyone in our local government with original and useful ideas, or is it toe the line and collect a paycheck?

I think it’s the latter.

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