Bus service in line for $666,000 in state funding

One month after learning it will receive $800,000 for a new transfer center, Grand Valley Transit obtained another round of state funding for two other transportation projects.

Grand Valley Transit is in line for $660,000 to help build a compressed-natural-gas vehicle-maintenance facility and implement a series of measures to improve traffic and pedestrian safety at bus stops.

The two Grand Valley Transit projects were among 62 statewide that will receive $15 million over the next three years, the Colorado Transportation Commission announced Wednesday. The money allocated to GVT and other agencies is coming from a controversial measure approved by the state Legislature in 2009 that increased vehicle-registration fees.

Of the $660,000 going to Grand Valley Transit, $360,000 will go toward the installation of bus pullouts on several of the bus service’s routes and construction of sidewalk in several areas near bus stops.

“The advantage is it allows our passengers to walk to and from their destinations more safely,” said Todd Hollenbeck, manager of the Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office, which oversees the operation of Grand Valley Transit.

He said the bus pullouts will assist with traffic flow by moving bus stops out of the lane of traffic. Several of those pullouts already were installed on North Avenue, with more to come on Patterson Road and Horizon Drive.

Hollenbeck said officials also will consolidate some of the bus stops on North Avenue to reduce the number of times buses are stopping to pick up passengers.

Most of the work should be completed by the end of the year. Grand Valley Transit could receive an additional $55,944 from the state in 2013 to finish the sidewalks and pullouts.

The total project is expected to cost $520,920, with the balance coming from local governments.

GVT will put the remaining $300,000 from the state toward the construction of a facility to maintain vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas. The CNG station and maintenance facility will be located west of the Grand Junction city shops off Riverside Parkway. The city intends to fuel trash trucks with CNG, and Grand Valley Transit purchased two CNG buses that should arrive in November.

The total cost of the maintenance facility is $360,000. Local governments will provide the matching dollars.

The state’s announcement that it will give $660,000 to Grand Valley Transit comes a month after it indicated Grand Valley Transit will receive $800,000 for a $5 million bus-transfer center and Greyhound terminal on 24 1/2 Road.


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