With an unclear purpose and a lack of funding, the future of the Albany County Transportation Authority (ACTA) is up in the air, one ACTA board member said.

“We need to really assess what our purpose is — do we want to just keep running the Laramie Link route, or look at other routes,” ACTA board member Andi Summerville said. “Right now, ACTA wouldn’t be necessary if UW continues to run the Laramie Link.”

ACTA began operating the Gem City Grand bus line in 2011, but when the University of Wyoming added its own public transit, LaramieLink, along the same route, ACTA fell into a supportive role.

“The board officially shed all of its responsibilities when UW took over LaramieLink,” Summerville said. “Right now, ACTA is really focusing more on the long-term transportation needs of the community.”

The county board’s problems are compounded by a lack of members. At the board’s quarterly meeting in March, Summerville said the county will need to appoint new board members from the county, city and Interfaith-Good Samaritan.

ACTA board member Klaus Hanson said the county could think about adding a public transportation user to the board as well.

“The important issue is to continue ACTA,” Hanson said. “We don’t know how long UW is planning on continuing the one route we do have.”

Because Laramie’s population is less than 50,000, the city is not eligible for a metropolitan planning organization, which could help secure federal funding for public transit efforts, Summerville said.

“It is difficult to run a bus system outside of a (metropolitan planning organization) in Wyoming,” she said. “The grants we had before UW started LaramieLink weren’t enough to effectively run the bus line.”

Another topic scheduled for the March meeting is forming partnerships.

With budget cuts statewide, Summerville said forming partnerships with UW, Laramie County Community College and other outside agencies might be the only way to fund future transportation efforts.

“I think it’s been appropriate to put the conversation on hold, since everyone has had their budgets cut,” she said. “March will be a good time to pick it back up again.”

Hanson said ACTA also needs to expand the public transit route to areas south and west of the main route, which travels along Grand Avenue between Wal-Mart and downtown.

“If it doesn’t go to West Laramie, it’s really only a half measure,” he said. “But that is kind of a pipe dream, because again — no money.”

Neither Hanson nor Summerville were sure whether ACTA would continue as a board with the current lack of interest from partners and inability to secure sufficient funds from the state to operate a bus line, but both agreed the board was needed.

“There are members of the community who see public transportation as a vital service,” Summerville said. “We know that it’s used, and we know that it’s needed.”

A date has not yet been set for the March meeting, Summerville said.

(4) comments

Matthew Brammer
Matthew Brammer

Once again Summerville shows her utter naïveté when it comes to transit demand in Laramie.

No, Andi, it's not "needed", it's not "necessary", and it's certainly not used nearly as much as you think it is. Additionally, voters and property owners are NEVER going to support paying for a little-used service whose ridership consists mostly of students. Citizens and property owners here, especially out in the county, have no interest in funding your little pipe dream.

Did we learn nothing from the Gem City Grand escapade? Have we learned nothing from the fact that even UW Transit ridership is down by a HUGE margin (including LaramieLink, Campus Commuters, Night Owl, AND SafeRide)? Have we learned nothing from the Eppson Center struggling to keep their service alive? Have we learned nothing from the inability of cab companies to stay afloat here, and several near-bankruptcies of the ONLY taxi company to figure out a way to make it work in any way at all?

I've said it time and again...transit demand in Laramie is nowhere near what people like Summerville think it is. There's a small, vocal group of complainers....that's it. The numbers consistently back that up.

It's starting to become mildly irritating that a handful of people keep pushing this narrative YEARS later....as if continuing to whine and complain about it is going to make people change their mind or make money appear. Stop beating a dead horse.

I initially liked Summerville. She was young, enthusiastic, etc. But as the years go on, she shows that youthful ignorance more and more....to the point where it's just blatant stupidity.

Ernest Bass
Ernest Bass

Summerville is an ideologue who is bent on pushing her own agenda. She doesn’t give a flying fig about what Albany County citizens want. Otherwise she would honor the wishes of Albany County voters (mil levy failed in 2012) and drop her incessant demand for taxpayer funded free bus rides for UW students. By the way, nearly $1 million was wasted by ACTA giving away “free” bus rides.

Royal Coachman
Royal Coachman

"There's a small, vocal group of complainers....that's it. "

The irony of that remark, with the two of you here as usual to insult and trash anything and everything the City does or Council members say....is just too delicious.

It makes me shiver!

Ernest Bass
Ernest Bass

Any pertinent thoughts on the subject of public transportation in Laramie? “It makes me shiver!” – like feeling a thrill going up your leg?

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