Vail Daily’s View: ECO board steers wise course with buses
Vail, CO, Colorado
The panel grappling with the shortfall in funding for the county bus service has a painful but prudent solution.
By its measure, service cutbacks will affect 6 percent of the ridership. Assuredly, proposed fare increases will hit everyone.
The boom time is over, and the bus system is running $2 million in the hole at its current level. That’s a road to disaster.
So the ECO Transit board proposes fare hikes, route cutbacks and ending the post-midnight run, which has few riders.
The county commissioners will take up the recommendations next Tuesday and make the final decisions about all this.
The meeting is public, of course. So if you have a strong interest you might want to attend.
The late-night bus is worth saving from a safety standpoint given the fact of resort community inebriation. No one has to approve of the behavior, but it is a fact. These are riders more likely to try to drive themselves without this option.
But in general, Eagle County must run the bus system that it can support. What was sustainable in a boom no longer works in a bust. Pretending the county government can be sugar daddy anyway is frankly irrational.
A county this size having a bus service at all is pretty special. Not every county is so fortunate.
So the county must adjust as pretty much everyone has had to adjust to the economic downturn.
This is a hardship, no question, for the riders asked to pay more and wait longer, and for government aiming to provide the most it can with dwindling funds.
But this is the wisest course. Alas, the math is inexorable. The operation has to match the funds for it.
It’s really as simple as that.
Vail Daily Editorial Board