People who rely on specialized transportation services — primarily the elderly and disabled — don’t have to worry about changes to the system in 2013, Colorado Springs officials promised Thursday. Contracts to keep the wheels running were extended for the year.
Four nonprofits provide specialized transportation in the area: Silver Key Senior Services, the El Paso County Fountain Valley Senior Center, Amblicab Paratransit and Community Intersections.
The city had extended contracts with the agencies through May, but nine days ago, the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, which provides some of the funding for the four nonprofits, approved payment of $316,028 to keep the buses and vans operating through the year.
“None of us budget for five months,” said El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark.
Clark met with Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach on Wednesday and county commissioner Dennis Hisey met with Craig Blewitt, the city’s transit services division manager and director of Mountain Metro Transit.
City officials want to open the transportation service to competitive bidding, perhaps in 2014. The city might even take on the task.
“The mayor said the city might consider doing it — if they can provide the same service,” Clark said.
Mountain Metro Transit runs Mountain Metro Mobility, a paid paratransit service for people who can’t used the fixed-route bus system.