Friday, May 4, 2012

Board OKs more study of transit hub

Contract with consultant still needs approval by city

Express Staff Writer

Citing the need for more public outreach, the Mountain Rides board of directors on Wednesday approved its portion of a contract with a consulting firm for additional studies of a proposed transportation center in downtown Ketchum.

The board agreed to contribute $4,825, or half the amount, for a new contract with Tahoe City, Calif.,-based LSC Transportation Consultants. Mountain Rides will ask the Ketchum City Council for the other half at the May 7 council meeting.

The city, partnering with Mountain Rides in the plan, has slowed the approval process for the hub after public outcry over its location, need and project timeline. The preferred site was East Avenue between Sun Valley Road and Second Street, but other locations will be reviewed again.

"Given the public input we received and the request from the public to really understand this project more fully, spending another $5,000 to $10,000 is money well spent," said Jason Miller, Mountain Rides executive director.

The proposed scope of work includes a review of alternative sites for the plaza, evaluation of current bus stops and services, capacity and a report discussing transit centers in mountain resort towns.

Board member Jim Jaquet said it would be hard to move forward with the project without more work from staff and the consultant.

"We need to make the case for a transit hub, why it's important," he said.

Rebecca Meany:

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