It was the kind of day that makes you happy you don’t live in Cleveland. The Aspen sky was blue. The air was cool, crisp, clean. I was seated outside the Ruby Park station, enjoying a coffee, waiting on the 4:20 Hunter Creek bus.
One bus after another pulled into the station. Carbondale, Snowmass, Hunter Creek. Not one turned off the engine. I assumed the driver’s would eventually flip the ignition, but the engines kept rumbling, fumes tumbling. After a few minutes I had to step inside the station to keep from being asphyxiated by the exhaust. If the yellow canary emblem on the side of the bus had been an actual living bird, it would have fallen from its perch, dead.
I called the City of Aspen’s Environmental Health Department to enquire about the “No Idling Policy” and was told that driver’s are not permitted to idle more than five minutes within city limits. According to the staffer with whom I spoke, the city gets complaints about RFTA all the time.
The very next day at Ruby Park, I kept my eye on the clock. Two buses broke the five-minute idling limit. If I was the confrontational type, I would have told the drivers to turn off their fucking engines. Instead, I chose to write about it in the hopes of notifying the pubic. The more people that are aware, the less likely RFTA is to ignore the No Idling Policy. Do me a favor, and keep your eye on those polluting bastards.
PS – I love RFTA, ride the bus daily, and want to thank them for their service, sincerely.