Granby makes Lift service official with signage, permanent stops
Getting around Grand County in winter can be a difficult and daunting task but residents of the Granby area can now take full advantage of the Winter Park-based Lift public transportation system as town officials in Granby prepare to formally establish bus stops for the winter season.
Lift service operated in the Granby area last winter but neither Granby nor Winter Park formally announced routes, schedules or bus stop locations in the community. This year, however, that is changing as Granby prepares to put up signage at five locations in the town that will serve as stops for this winter.
Granby will put bus stop signage across from 7-Eleven on Highway 40; at the entrance to Grand Meadows at Sixth and Garnet, at the Middle Park High School parking lot; at First and Jasper near Granby Town Hall and the town ballfields; and at the town’s parking lot on Agate Avenue next to Brickhouse 40.
“We (Granby and Winter Park) have committed to working together through the winter season and then to continue conversations about what year round transit would look like,” said Aaron Blair, Granby town manager. “This winter the Lift bus will function as it did last season. Winter Park is doing a great service to our county with this transit system and we are looking at how we can take it to the next level.”
Blair was thrilled to announce the news, but stressed a few important details regarding the cooperative relationship between the two communities.
Lift service for the Granby area will only operate during the winter and will not extend through the summer. The new dynamic, of announcing Granby area bus stops and bussing schedules, will not increase operational costs for the Lift, which already services the Granby area in winter. Granby will be covering the costs associated with establishing signage at the bus stops in the area.
“No one has committed to anything further,” Blair said. “But we are talking. The only thing different this year is we will put Lift bus station signage at the stops.”
According to Blair, the decision to announce the bussing options for the Granby area developed out of informal discussions between the communities.
“Through those conversations we realized we had a significant amount of stops in Granby, and few people knew about it,” Blair said. “We decided it would be in our best interests to learn more about the transit system. By making sure there is signage we could see if it will be a benefit to the town. Making the bus stops visible is a small incremental step.”
Blair explained Granby plans to review ridership data through this winter looking at the scale of demand for Lift Bus operations in Granby, as well as looking at what locations will serve as the best bus stops. Blair said bus stop locations could potentially change depending on what the data show.
Granby plans to continue discussions with Winter Park about potentially expanding service after this winter is wrapped up. Blair confirmed Granby does not contribute funding directly to the Lift Bus operations and said discussions of cost sharing agreements would come after the town reviews ridership data from the coming season.
Lift operations in the Granby area kicked off in early November and will continue through the winter.
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