About the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA)
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has been in operation since 1983, and functions as a Regional Transportation Authority. The RTA includes the communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, Basalt, a portion of Eagle County, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and our newest member New Castle. RFTA provides commuter bus service from Aspen to Glenwood Springs (Roaring Fork Valley), Glenwood to Rifle (Hogback), intra city service in Aspen and Glenwood Springs, ski shuttle service to the four Aspen Skiing Company ski areas, Maroon Bells Guided Bus Tours, and a variety of other seasonal services. In 1996, RFTA was named the "Best Mass Transit System of North America" by Mass Transit Magazine. In 2003 RFTA was awarded three of the top honors by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) including the award for "Large Transit Agency of the Year." In 2006 we were once again honored as the "Large Transit Agency of the Year."
In 2008 we CASTA's Innovation Award for our Bike Express buses. Also on October 1, 2008 our Rio Grande Trail was awarded the Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative Award during the 2008 Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference
In 2009 RFTA won best "Large Transit Agency," "Best Marketing Program," and our CEO won "Best Transit Administrator" from CASTA. Dan once again captured the "Best Transit Administrator" in 2011.
Another wonderful award that RFTA's Finance Department has won from 2007 through 2012 the "Distinguished Budget Presentation Award." This is the only national award for governmental budgeting. According to the Government Finance Officers Association this award "reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting." Recipients "provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America."
2012 has been a banner year for other honors as well. We once again were awarded the "Best Large Transit Agency" award from CASTA. Our Marketing department also won the Spotlight Marketing award for our agency size for its VelociRFTA campaign from the South West Transit Association. But best of all have been our national honors. We had the pleasure of the head of the Federal Transit Administration, Peter Rogoff out for our VelociRFTA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ground breaking. In the summer we were grateful for a visit from U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood coming to progress on the construction of the first rural BRT system, VelociRFTA. He had this to say about us, "You’re a model for cooperation. You’re a model for putting your friends and neighbors to work. You’re a model for implementing the first rural BRT project in the country. So I came here to say congratulations to all of you.”
Lastly we were so grateful to be recognized by Washington, DC as a recepient of the White House Champions of Change Transportation Innovator. We are so thrilled that the federal government has noticed the work in our community to make transit quicker and more effecient.
RFTA currently operates a fleet of over 82 vehicles and carries about 4.5 million passengers annually. We manage the Rio Grande Trail which goes from Glenwood to Aspen, and serve 10 communities and three counties with transit. RFTA is building the first rural bus rapid transit system in the nation. We use Biodiesel fuel in all of its fleet of diesel power vehicles including our hybrid buses, and ethanol in our gasoline vehicles. RFTA is ordering 22 compressed natural gas buses for our VelociRFTA program which will begin in the fall of 2013. Four of these are replacement buses.