Lift transit system receives money, honors from state |

Lift transit system receives money, honors from state

Winter Park's Lift transit system was named Colorado's resort transit agency of the year in 2019 thanks in large part to Transit Manager Michael Koch (second from right). Koch announced he will be leaving his position in October.
Courtesy Winter Park

Winter Park’s transit system, the Lift, is getting all sorts of state recognition for improving transportation options in Grand County. 

In the last week, the Lift received a $730,000 grant for new buses and was named Colorado’s resort transit agency of the year. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation awarded the grant for two new buses that will replace older models. The grant covers about 80% of the cost of the two buses, leaving the town responsible for only $182,000 of the cost.

“I love these numbers,” Mayor Jimmy Lahrman said. “To have two brand new buses basically cost our community ($180,000) is phenomenal.”

The buses will be purchased through the Colorado Mountain Purchasing Consortium so they will have similar specifications to the system’s other buses. The new buses are expected to join the fleet in 2021.

On top of planning for future improvements, the Lift was recognized by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies as the best transit agency in a resort community for the second year. The Lift program was also awarded the honor in 2017.

Transit Manager Michael Koch said the honor was awarded in part because of the grant money the Lift received from the state over the past three and a half years. Other factors include starting the year-round regional line between Granby and Winter Park and ensuring buses are accessible per the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In its first year, the regional transit line provided over 5,000 rides between Winter Park and Granby this summer.

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