The town’s DAR budget includes funding for not only the DAR taxi service, but also bus service to the Meadows neighborhood, Town Hall Plaza, the Town of Telluride, fixed departmental costs, and staff allocations. Originally, the overall 2009 adopted DAR budget was reduced 10 percent, compared to last year’s budget, to $873,538. This budget decrease meant a reduction in one driver per shift for both the town’s DAR taxi service and bus service. This modification resulted in generally longer wait times for DAR passengers.
As the first quarter of 2009 unraveled, town officials paid close attention to December’s numbers pertaining to sales and lodging tax and expected construction revenue figures estimated for 2009 (The town has a high level of dependence on development-related fees such as building permits, road impact fees, and construction use tax.)
In the end, sales and lodging tax numbers were down as well as construction revenue figures, and with the general economic forecast for the year looming overhead, Sparks decided it was necessary to make an additional $1.5 million budget cut to keep the town’s general fund balanced.
With the latest plan to pluck $1.5 million from the town’s budget, the DAR budget has now been reduced an additional 10 percent to $773,500, with roughly $100,000 cut specifically from the DAR taxi service. With this additional reduction, the town’s bus service operations for the spring 2009 off-season will not be affected.
“In conjunction with Telluride’s Galloping Goose, Mountain Village will operate bus service between Telluride and Mountain Village from 6:45 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. seven days per week, with intermediate stops at Meadows and Lawson Hill,” explained Transit Director Chris Colter. “Additional routes will operate during the morning and afternoon rush hours, Monday through Friday, providing service every 30 minutes and weekend service will be offered at 90-minute intervals. A bus schedule will be posted at the major bus stops and on the Mountain Village Website, www.townofmountainvillage.com.”
This change in taxi service will go into effective April 6; DAR service will resume May 22, and run until September 13. Residents and visitors will be able to utilize the town’s bus system.
In 2008, the DAR budget totaled $968,676, of which roughly $70,000 went to DAR taxi service operations. Last year, the town received more than 31,000 DAR calls for service, and transported about 64,000 passengers. To pick up and drop off one person, it costs the town about $21.80 per ride, or $10.61 per rider, with an average of 2.1 riders per service call.
For more information, visit www.townofmountainvillage.com