With $2M more in 2010, Mountain Metro will improve what it can

       With $2 million more to spend this year, Mountain Metro Transit is studying ways to “squeeze as much as we can out of the budget,” according to spokesperson Vicki McCann.

A Route 14 bus cruises past the stop at Willamette and Spruce Street, where pedestrian ramps are in the process of being built.
Westside Pioneer photo

       A plan for service improvements in 2011 should be ready by the end of January, she said.
       One already-revealed Mountain Metro upgrade is the return of limited Saturday bus service, starting in March. Details on that will also be announced at month's end, McCann said.
       The city-owned service offers a fixed-route bus system through the Colorado Springs area. The two main Westside routes are 3 (along Colorado Avenue to Manitou Springs) and 14 (up Spruce/Walnut/Chestnut streets and through Holland Park).
       Including grants and federal matching funds, Mountain Metro has an overall 2011 budget of $18 million. Of this, the city will provide $3.1 million and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) $6.3 million, McCann said.
       Mountain Metro has had to cut or shorten routes, reduce frequency of stops, cut evening service after 6:30 p.m. and eliminate weekend service over the past two years because of city and RTA funding cutbacks in a rough economy. Three years ago, the city allocation was $11.8 million, reaching a low last year of $2.6 million. The RTA share was $8.8 million three years ago, dipping to $6.1 million last year.

Westside Pioneer article