Use it or lose it
On Dec. 15, the Gilpin County Connector traveled its route between Central City and Nederland for the last time. Gilpin County Manager Roger Baker said the bus was too expensive and inefficient to continue the inter-county service.
Casino employees living in Nederland have lost their means of transportation. Teens heading to the Gilpin Recreation Center had to find other means of transportation or not go at all. The convenience that residents had learned to love was lost.
Last week, Nederland Community Library District residents learned that they can ride the RTD for nothing, that if they live in the library district, they will receive a free Eco-Pass. The town of Nederland and the Boulder County Transportation Department created a program, funded by a $90,000 grant administered by the Denver Regional Council of Governments and Boulder County’s transit tax, to provide access to bus service for middle and high school students, the elderly and low-income residents. The goal is also intended to lower vehicle travel on county roads.
What a gift! The free passes are part of a pilot program that was initiated in Lyons last year and proved to increase ridership by 38 percent. A free bus pass will save residents money and is an environmentally sound concept.
Everyone who is eligible should sign up for this opportunity. We should prove that alternate transportation will be used and that we can reduce our dependence on fuel by traveling en masse.
Residents can sign up for the pass from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 27 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 28 at the NCL. They will need proof of residency in the Boulder County part of the Nederland Library District, such as a utility bill or singed lease. The passes will be distributed in February at town hall.
Gilpin County Manager Baker said the county is considering another type of transportation between Nederland and Gilpin and the County commissioners will be meeting with the Nederland Board of Trustees at the end of February. He said he is open to suggestions and to any ideas of how to create a sustainable bus service between the counties.
The Connector may be gone but the connection should continue.