A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today for the Town of Estes Park's newest addition to the transit fleet -- a grant-funded electric trolley. Parking and Transit Manager Vanessa Solesbee kicked off the ceremony with remarks about the history of procuring the trolley, dating back to 2017 when previous Transit Program Manager Brian Wells led efforts to write two successful grant requests to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for two fully-electric, battery powered trolleys and one charging station. The arrival of the first of the two trolleys was celebrated today at the ceremony. The second trolley is expected to arrive in mid to late 2021.
Mayor Wendy Koenig acknowledged the work of the Town's Transportation Advisory Board in helping to move the transit program to a more sustainable future. At the time the grant was put together, staff projected that the two trolleys would realize a savings of 3,456 gallons of fuel over one season and result in a reduction in 16 different pollutants, most notably Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide. The passenger and pedestrian experience will also be improved by a reduction in fumes and noise when the trolley is in service.
In addition to Mayor Koenig and Manager Solesbee, Town Administrator Travis Machalek, Public Works Director Greg Muhonen, Public Information Officer Kate Rusch, Transportation Advisory Board Chair Belle Morris, and Co-Chair Tom Street were in attendance from the Town of Estes Park. Brian Wells, now with Rocky Mountain Transit Management and Jeremy Hiler with Motiv Power Systems (vendor) were also in attendance.
The trolleys were funded by FTA grants at 80% Federal Share (provided through CDOT) and 20% Local Match. The charging station was 90% Federal Share and 10% Local Match.
Estes Transit service begins today with enhanced public health and safety protocols including requirements that all passengers (and drivers) must wear masks. The parking structure is now the hub for all of the Town's five seasonal shuttle routes. Learn about service routes, times and safety protocols at www.estes.org/shuttles