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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-September 14, 2020-Facing a several million-dollar shortfall for the 2021 budget due to impacts from COVID-19, City Council is gauging significant budget modifications across the city including the possible elimination of the Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) Blue Line.
“Like many communities across the state, the city is grappling with substantial belt tightening and service reductions across all areas and the blue line is just one anticipated reduction,” said City Manager Gary Suiter. “What we’re interested in understanding is the business community’s appetite for alternative transportation funding for this winter.”
During previous winters, SST operated two primary route combinations – Red/Green Lines and Blue/Orange Lines. These routes provided 20-minute service and 10-minute overlapping service that covered most of the city.
The Blue Line carries an average of 1,127 passengers daily and more than 150,000 passengers annually. The city covers 100% of transit costs through the general budget and the blue line carries an approximately $484,000 price tag.
Also, under consideration is for the Night Line to start an hour earlier at 7pm and end 3.5 hours earlier than in prior winters. The last bus from downtown toward the mountain will depart from the Stockbridge location at 11pm instead of 2:20am.
During the July 21 meeting, City Council directed the formation of the Innovative Transportation Task Force to investigate ways for the community to come together in the short term to retain SST capacity including funding the blue line. In addition, the task force will focus long-term on the Gondola Transit Center and sustainable transportation funding.
An update from the task force will be presented tomorrow during the City Council Regular Meeting on September 15, where possible community funding options and collaboration opportunities will be discussed. Citizens can participate and tune into the meeting digitally via Zoom or the city’s live stream; view on the city’s YouTube channel or Comcast TV6; listen on KKSB-100.5FM or attend in person (limited capacity due to health guidelines).
City Council will look at the overall city budget during its all-day budget retreat starting at 8am on Oct. 6. In addition, the proposed budget will come back before council during meetings in November and December for final adoption.
Contact Gary Suiter, City Manager, 970.871.8204 or emailTom Leeson, Deputy City Manager, 970.871.8249 or emailJonathan Flint, Transit Manager, 970.875.1516 or email