GVT to Get New Operator?

By: Natalie Pallone
By: Natalie Pallone

For the past six years a non–profit corporation has been running grand valley transit, but Mesa Ability may be no more if the board of Mesa County Commissioners votes in favor of having Laidlaw Transit take over.

Members of the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Committee or GVTRC voted to recommend Laidlaw Transit Services Incorporated as the operator of Grand Valley Transit.

Mesa Ability and Laidlaw Transit were the only two contractors to bid on the service, part of the reason GVRTC recommended Laidlaw over Mesa Ability was because the current provider's bid was one point eight million dollars more than Laidlaw's.

Tom Fisher, director of Mesa County's regional transportation planning office, says those extra dollars could be used on things like extending service hours, adding routes and adding more frequent service.

Later this month Mesa County Commissioners will vote on whether to accept the recommendation. If they do, Mesa Ability President and CEO Rod Gearing says the non–profit corporation may be forced to shut down come January first.

Laidlaw officials say they don't plan to bring in any new employees from outside other than the system's new general manager,
instead they plan to hire most or all of the current staff and say they will offer them full benefits.

Officials say although they don't have an exact answer yet, some of the local employees may loose their jobs, but others could see a pay increase.


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