Aspen, Colorado parks its $2.6 million transit experiment

The city of Aspen’s multiyear and multimillion-dollar mobility lab for transit alternatives to be rolled out this summer is dead on arrival.

“We have stopped all work on it,” Ashley Perl, the city’s project director for the lab, dubbed SHIFT, said late last week. “There is not a project called SHIFT in 2019.”

An initiative led by Mayor Steve Skadron, SHIFT was supposed to be a three-month experiment to be launched in June that would give motorists incentives to take alternative transportation.

It was to cost $2.6 million and had a goal of taking 800 cars off the highway into Aspen each day.

The city spent close to $300,000 in 2017 in planning to launch the mobility lab in 2018, but several obstacles, including finding auto sponsors, delayed the project to this year.

But with the mid-December resignation of Assistant City Manager Barry Crook, who was the department head leading the project, SHIFT was put on the back burner.