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RFTA testing battery-powered electric buses this fall

Eight battery powered electric buses are joining the ranks of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority fleet, according to a recent announcement from RFTA.

The buses are the result of a partnership involving RFTA, city of Aspen, Federal Transit Administration, Colorado Department of Transportation, Pitkin County, Holy Cross Energy and Snowmass Village, that joined forces to support the electrification of buses serving the Roaring Fork Valley.  

“The new electric buses will be spotted while out for testing throughout the fall. RFTA is extensively testing the electric buses within the city of Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County. To test the buses' ability and range, drivers will start them on shorter, flatter routes around Aspen without passengers before moving to the longer, steeper roads,” according to the announcement. The vehicles, the Xcelsior CHARGE™ bus, are made by New Flyer and use an electric motor powered by energy stored in rechargeable batteries. 

According to the release, RFTA is planning to place the buses into full service around Nov. 28. 

“Until then, the buses will be moving around the valley designated with wraps indicating that the new technology is in the testing phase to guarantee we can meet our riders’ needs. The public and passengers will not be able to board the buses during this testing phase,” it was noted.

In a statement, Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman (who is also a member of the RFTA board) said, “Now we get an opportunity for our community to experience less noise pollution, lower emissions and mitigation for climate change.”

The electrification of a portion of RFTA’s fleet is a goal of the RFTA Board of Directors and a publicly supported initiative from RFTA Destination 2040.

Market Street party features Drunken Poets

The Arts Campus at Willits and Willits Town Center present a free concert on Friday, Sept. 20, featuring the band the Drunken Poets. The music runs from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Market Street in Basalt.

“Led by Randolph Turner, frontman of Jes Grew, the Drunken Poets play a mix of classic rock hits, deep-cut favorites and original tunes,” according to TACAW’s website. “No matter what treasures the set list holds, the Drunken Poets always elevate the party and put on a great show.”

Attendees may bring along “a chair or a picnic” or can grab a table at one of the nearby restaurants and enjoy the music.