Buses to Increase to Full Seated Capacity Starting June 7th
Starting with the summer season, on June 7th, RFTA will be increasing to full seated capacity on all buses and routes. This includes VelociRFTA BRT, Roaring Fork Valley Local, Carbondale Circulator, Hogback, Ride Glenwood, City of Aspen, and Maroon Bells bus routes. Due to the decline in the COVID-19 infection rate, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have rescinded all social distancing restrictions on public transit within Colorado. Pitkin County Public Health has also given RFTA clearance for this increase.
Based on the guidance from public health authorities, RFTA is pleased that it can increase to full seated capacity on buses, helping to make its services more convenient for transit users. However, the safety of its passengers and bus operators is still RFTA’s number one concern, so here is what you need to know:
- 100% seated capacity means all seats will be available, however, standing room beyond seated capacity will not be allowed. For example, if a bus has 36 seats up to 36 people can ride the bus at once. Riders are permitted to stand, but the total number of riders aboard the bus may not exceed the number of seats on the bus
- By Federal Law, masks are still required on Public Transit through September 13. Bandanas, ski buffs, and scarves are not considered facemasks
- You should avoid public transit if you are sick, positive for COVID-19, or if you think or know you have been exposed to COVID-19
- Guidance from bus operators must be followed because they are responsible for the health and safety of their passengers.
RFTA will continue to meet or exceed all COVID-19 safety guidelines from local, state, and Federal public health officials and will continue maintaining daily bus cleaning and sanitation procedures with a combination of hand cleaning and use of electrostatic disinfecting fogging units. Hand sanitizer is available on all RFTA buses for passenger use.
“Safety is our number one priority. And when it comes to COVID-19, we take our lead from public health experts,” said Dan Blankenship, CEO at RFTA. “Anticipating a busy summer season, we know more people will want to use our service. Starting June 7, the ability to safely use 100% of seated capacity on buses throughout the system, including the Maroon Bells’ shuttle, couldn’t come at a better time!”
The Maroon Bells’ shuttle reservation system will allow up to 35 reservations for each of the 29 scheduled departures from the Aspen Highlands Ski Area every day. That means that up to 1,015 people per day can purchase round-trip tickets whereas last year, at 15 passengers bus, reservations were limited to 435 per day. Shuttle reservations can be made at www.aspenchamber.org.
RFTA has a range of different buses with varying seat capacities. Bus capacities will be as follows; RFTA’s 40-foot buses will range from 35-39 seats, 35-foot buses will be 32 seats; MCIs will be in the range of 50-52 seats with the front two rows closed off; S-vans will range from 12-15 seats; Optimas will be 27 seats.
Since masks are still required under Federal law on public transportation, RFTA asks passengers to please continue wearing masks while riding RFTA, and using RFTA stops and transit stations, regardless of vaccination status.
COVID RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE
- COVER YOUR FACE: You MUST wear a mask on all RFTA buses at all times. Please read our mask policy here.
- DO NOT RIDE IF YOU’RE SICK: For the safety of other passengers and your bus driver, please DO NOT USE RFTA SERVICES if you’re experiencing respiratory illness (fever, cough, and shortness of breath).