Thursday marks the 19th consecutive year of Winter X Games in Aspen. That means increased traffic and crowded public transportation. KDNK’s Lucas Turner reports on how the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority prepares to handle the crowds and keep services running smoothly.
The multi-day action sports and music event at Buttermilk draws massive crowds every year. Last Janaury attendance topped 117 thousand people. That’s more than double the estimated population of the Roaring Fork Valley.
The influx means full hotels up and down the valley, and by extension, a big increase in ridership on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s bus service.
John Hocker worked as the co-director of operations for RFTA, his last day was earlier this month. But Hocker says he’s been involved in planning for X Games since 2002 when the event first came to Aspen. He says dealing with the increased ridership, especially from down-valley, is a balancing act.
Hocker says accommodating extra riders also means some buses run later than normal and drivers work extra hours, especially as X Games concert s go late into the evening. He says while the service will do their best to keep service running smoothly, but notes that the planning isn’t an exact science.
Whatever happens, John Hocker says, people should expect buses to be crowded.
Route information including shuttle schedules to and from Buttermilk Mountian can be found at rfta.com