On Dec. 8, the “Future of Regional Transit” study team will conduct a telephone town hall from 7 to 8 p.m. to engage residents about the role of regional public transit services.
A random sample chosen from 40,000 residents will be called beginning at 6:45 p.m. and invited to participate in the town hall. Any other residents who would like to join in may call toll-free at 1-877-229-8493, Ext. 16138#, at 7 p.m., Dec. 8.
Residents may also send questions via email to info@FutureOfRegionalTransit.com
The meeting will be moderated by longtime Colorado Springs radio reporter Mark Goldberg. Representatives from Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT) and the Future of Regional Transit Steering Committee will provide information about the study and answer questions during the one-hour conference.
The purpose of the Future of Regional Transit Study is to develop a recommendation for a more solid regional decision-making and funding structure for regional transit. Over the past two years, City funding for transit operations has been reduced from $11.9 million in 2008 to $2.6 million in 2010. As a result, transit service has been cut approximately in half, significantly affecting those who rely on the service for work, school, and medical appointments. The balance of local funding is provided by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), which includes Colorado Springs residents as well as residents from unincorporated El Paso County, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, and Ramah.
Although the city’s 2011 proposed budgets includes an additional $1 million for transit services, including the restoration of Saturday bus service, residents who rely on public transit for work, school, and medical appointments will still be significantly affected.
The committee will provide its recommendations to the Colorado Springs City Council in February 2011.