Lift expands schedules, stops to meet demand from riders
In a record setting year for the Lift transit system, more changes and expansions are being made to meet the growing demand for public transportation in Grand County.
Using data collected through transit demand studies and ridership surveys, several bus lines in Winter Park have been adjusted to run more frequently and include new stops, in addition to a year-round regional line between Granby and Winter Park.
“This is going to change the way that our residents and guests interact with our community, interact with the county and our whole region,” said Winter Park transit manager Michael Koch.
While the Granby Regional Commuter Line still needs to be approved by Granby’s Board of Trustees at their Tuesday meeting, Granby town manager Aaron Blair is confident that it will be approved and help provide a needed service to regional commuters.
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“It’s critical as the county continues to grow to provide regional transit to allow workers to have the mobility throughout the county to connect us,” Blair said. “There are quite a bit of employees (…) that we found were utilizing the transit and if we could be more consistent on providing the service year-round that there would be a better use of the system.”
If approved, the regional line would start Nov. 12, when the winter service begins. Currently, there already is a regional bus route between Granby and Winter Park in the winter, but this route would be expanded to year round.
The route would be similar to the existing winter route, but would also have two additional stops, one at City Market and one at the WorldMark by Wyndham in Grand Elk, but it will no longer stop at the high school. The hours of the route were also adjusted to have a midday run at noon and the last run at 10 p.m.
“The regional route is really geared toward commuters,” Koch said. “We completely understand that the schedule will change over time. We’ve adjusted a few times to help meet a few gaps that have been identified in (the ridership) survey.”
Aside from the new year-round regional line, changes have also been made to the Black, Green, Red and Purple lines to better serve riders’ needs, Koch said. This year, the Lift broke 500,000 riders and saw a 13 percent increase in summer ridership.
Now the Black line will stop directly at the Grand Park Community Rec Center and service the Grand Park neighborhood going both directions.
The Green line has added the Lakota neighborhood to its route, as well as an extra bus for weekends and holidays.
The Red line no longer stops at the rec center, so it will be running on a half-hour schedule now and the Purple cirque schedule has been adjusted so it’s timed better to meet up with the Black line at Safeway for transfers and runs on a half-hour schedule.
Koch recommends riders download the new Lift app for information regarding the location of bus stops, the bus schedules and routes, as well as notifications about changes or updates to transit.
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