Bus depot, park-and-ride on horizon

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The sale of a county building will be a park-and-ride station and someday home to a bus depot for regional commuters, according to a vote in Moffat County chambers on Tuesday.

Officials from Steamboat Springs Transit purchased the building and 1.4 acres at 616 Victory Way for $220,000 from Moffat County during a regular meeting of the Moffat County commissioners.

Winnie DelliQuadri with intergovernmental services in Steamboat Springs said officials want to soon convert an area in front of the building for a park-and-ride lot for Craig residents to leave vehicles while riding buses to Steamboat.

Transit officials are investigating whether to convert a structure on the site to a bus depot or consider rebuilding a new facility on the site. Much of those decisions will be swayed by input from the Federal Transportation Authority, which will play a role in funding the facility. Steamboat Transit has hired an architect to determine the feasibility of the project.

Currently, Craig residents leave cars in parking lots across town to catch the buses.

"I think it will make it more convenient," DelliQuadri said about the future of a depot. "It will be heated."

Construction or conversion of the existing building for a depot may start this winter or be postponed until next winter, depending on costs of construction.

Work on a park-and-ride should start soon with landscaping, removal of a fence around the lot and new asphalt.

Moffat County currently contributes about $18,000 a year in support of regional public transportation from Craig to Steamboat. That money goes to Moffat County Social Services to provide clients with vouchers to ride the buses.

Transit Director George Kraw-zoff said its number of riders has increased since a recent spike in fuel prices.

Krawzoff said that a third coach bus has been added to the fleet and will debut this winter. The addition means that everyone will be able to ride on one of the new busses that commuters seem to prefer over older models, Krawzoff said.

"We expect that will really increase ridership," he said.

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 208, or ahamilton@craigdailypress.com

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