Meet the Rural Region That Opted for VelociBuses Over Highway Expansion

28-Feb-2013 by Angie Schmitt

The four sparsely populated mountain counties make up the Roaring Fork Valley extend over roughly 50 miles on Colorado’s Western Slope. About 32,000 people are interspersed throughout the valley in small towns like Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs, but the local economy revolves around the nearby resort town of Aspen.

This, clearly, is challenging terrain for a transit agency. Aspen’s hotels and restaurants attract workers from around the region, but people who toil in local service industry jobs have mostly been priced out of the housing near Aspen.

“People who wash pots and pans at the hotels in Aspen were driving 75 miles one way for the privilege of doing that,” said Roger Millar of Smart Growth America at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City last week.

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