Mountain Village Hands Dial-a-Ride Back to TMVOA
by Martinique Davis
Jul 26, 2012 | 1992 views | 2 2 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – Another chapter in the Dial-a-Ride funding saga seemed to come to a close last week, as Mountain Village Town Council made their strongest statement yet as to how the municipality would move forward with funding the free town taxi service.

Mountain Village government announced it had come to a consensus to discontinue funding Dial-A-Ride after the 2012-2013 ski season due to budget constraints stemming from drastically reduced property tax revenues. Dial-a-Ride has for years been a municipally funded operation, coming with a $550,000 annual price tag for Mountain Village. With the Town facing steep declines in municipal revenues due to a 15 percent drop in property tax revenues since last year, the town’s budget simply cannot withstand the drain of this non-essential service, Town Council members reported at a joint meeting with the Telluride Mountain Village Homeowners’ Association board last Wednesday.

“I’m sorry we’re dumping this on you guys, but that’s how this is working out,” Mountain Village mayor Bob Delves told the TMVOA board, after Council delivered a strong message that the municipality was no longer capable of funding DAR. “Working with you, we have to get back to the table and come up with some trigger dates to enable your discussion, but also to make clear that if you haven’t made a decision… then the decision is on us, and it’s pretty clear what decision we’re going to make.”

A Dial-A-Ride Task Force, created last spring and comprised of TMV and TMVOA members, came up with five options for preserving DAR, which were presented to Town Council and the community in June. Those options, along with some hybrid suggestions, were presented again at the TMVOA meeting, which was well attended by the homeowners’ association’s membership.

The options created by the DAR Task Force ranges from assessing a monthly fee to property owners’ TMVOA bills to a fee-for-service structure operated by the private sector. Council made clear to TMVOA that although the Town would not continue funding the service after the coming ski season, they are willing to assist TMVOA in finding solutions.

While community members in attendance spoke in favor of keeping the service, there was still little consensus as to how to do so.

Homeowner Bruce Macintyre stated that although he has never used the service, he sees the intrinsic value in keeping Dial-A-Ride. “Once you’ve provide an amenity to the customer, it’s really hard to take that away. It’s part of the Village experience.”

Jonathan Greenspan, TMVOA board president, urged TMVOA members present at the meeting to express their views on the issue, but more importantly, to reach out to their neighbors to get their opinions. “We need to take all of this information, deliberate, and see if we can afford it in any structure. But it really depends on getting responses from everybody in the community,” Greenspan said. The group decided at the meeting last week that it would create a survey for its membership in an attempt to elicit more feedback.

Although the tenor of the meeting seemed to reflect TMVOA’s interest in coming up with a way to preserve Dial-A-Ride, Greenspan was clear that the association could not fund the service without a dedicated revenue stream. “We cannot, with the current budget we have, take this on and hope for the best,” he said.

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August 02, 2012
Dial a Ride was created because there was not enough business for a private enterprise taxi service. If that still remains true then forcing taxpayers to pay for crazy losses is a little sick. Free services also encourage people to use all that they can afford so that many trips become the norm and environmental consequences maximized. Time to say good-bye!
July 30, 2012
This is great news only if TMVOA does the same thing...kicks this ludicrous use of public money to fund a way home for someone who "cant get home becuase they are drunk"

This sop to drunks was always a waste of money.

This is like the airport subsidy..a wealth transfer payment so someone can profit..