Call it the SDS Express.
A city-owned bus is transporting former Mayor Lionel Rivera, City Council President Scott Hente, Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte and other city officials and Utilities employees Friday to the Pueblo Dam for a celebration commemorating the start of major construction on the 62-mile Southern Delivery System water pipeline.
“This is a more efficient way to transport the group than individual cars,” SDS spokeswoman Janet Rummel said in an email. “Those riding the bus will participate in a tour of construction at the dam prior to the event.”
Mayor Steve Bach is scheduled to attend Friday’s event, but he’s not going by bus, according the passenger list.
Rummel said such bus transportation “has been done for similar events that many Council members have attended in the past.”
Colorado Springs ratepayers will apparently foot the bill.
“I have been told that the bus gets 6 miles per gallon and the cost of the fuel per gallon is $2.56,” she wrote. “For the roundtrip, we estimate the cost of fuel to be just under $40. The City also has designated a City employee to drive the bus that morning instead of their normal dispatch duties.”
The bus is fueled from a city fuel station, Rummel said.
“Our understanding is that the driver was already scheduled to work that morning. We will work with the City to reimburse them for their costs,” she said.
Here’s the passenger list:
Council members riding the bus:
Merv Bennett and his wife
Tim Leigh (tentative)
Staff riding the bus:
In addition, former Mayor Lionel Rivera and Vice Mayor Larry Small will be riding the bus.