Funding short for facility to support bus program

The director of transportation for the city of Steamboat Springs will update Moffat County commissioners Tuesday about efforts to build a new bus depot and waiting area in Craig.

George Krawzoff said funding shortfalls are the biggest obstacle to proceeding with the project, which involves converting Moffat County's former shop at the east end of town into a holding facility for regional buses and a waiting area for riders.

"We've had interest in the project, but there's a little bit less money available," Krawzoff said.

Krawzoff said the department received about half of the capital improvement funding it received last year, or $325,000. A Department of Local Affairs grant of $500,000 was awarded for the project, but transit officials requested $100,000 more than what was received. Along with the property acquisition, Steamboat transit officials had hoped to purchase a new bus.

Krawzoff said 29,458 regional passengers were recorded in 2004, a significant increase over previous years. Funding for the service that travels round-trip from Craig to Steamboat Springs costs about $10 a passenger, but fares are half that. Steamboat Springs Transit, the city of Hayden, and both Routt and Moffat counties absorb the remainder of the costs.

Krawzoff said appraisals of the site near the east side Kum & Go included the price of the land and the buildings. Steamboat officials have since learned that those buildings aren't usable for bus storage. That means new storage buildings may have to be built.

Officials also want to build a park and ride area, because availability for parking around town has decreased.

Krawzoff said he won't bring a specific request to commissioners with any specific requests; rather, he merely wants to inform them of the situation.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara said he is looking forward to Tuesday's meeting to learn more about the regional transit plans.

Tayyara said he is concerned about riders who must wait for bus service outside, especially in the early morning hours.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com

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