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Ridership on Bustang, which provides bus service connecting Denver to Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and mountain communities along I-70, swelled 52% in its second year, providing 155,864 passenger trips, according to the public interest group CoPIRG Foundation. To mark the 2nd anniversary of Bustang service and show broad public support, CoPIRG Foundation staff stood at Bustang’s gate in Denver’s Union Station and gathered signatures on a large, colorful, birthday card made out to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which operates the statewide bus service.
“Bustang has provided thousands of people with the freedom to travel to Denver from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and mountain towns along I-70 and vice versa without driving their car,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Foundation’s Director. “The huge growth in ridership demonstrates the clear need for even more statewide bus service like Bustang.”
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched the Bustang interregional express bus service in July, 2015. There are three main routes. The South Route offers service between Colorado Springs and Denver’s Union Station via I-25 with a stop at the Monument Park & Ride. Bustang also operates the North Route between Denver and Fort Collins with a stop at the Loveland-Greeley Park & Ride, and the West Route along I-70 connecting Denver with Idaho Springs, Frisco, Vail, Eagle and Glenwood Springs.
Bustang buses also provide special services like rides to home Broncos games and the RamsRoute, which operates from Colorado State University-Fort Collins to Denver on Friday nights and back on Sunday nights during the school year.
In its second year of operation, the West Route saw a 77% increase in ridership, the North Route saw a 50% increase and the South Route saw a 42% increase. In its first year, Bustang provided a total of 102,503 passenger trips across the whole system. Ridership jumped to 155,864 passenger trips in the second year.
“Whether you don’t own a car or want to avoid the hassle of driving and paying for parking, Bustang is connecting our biggest cities and economic areas via wifi-equipped buses. It’s crazy it took until 2015 to have a statewide public bus service, but now that Coloradans have the option to ride a bus, people are using it. We should keep expanding the service until everyone in Colorado has transportation options,” said Katz.
CDOT has plans for expanding Bustang in the coming year including adding weekend service, new stops and specialized services, and additional buses to existing routes during the work week.
To encourage CDOT to continue to expand the state’s bus options, CoPIRG Foundation will be delivering the birthday card signed by Coloradans as well as a letter from 41 mayors, city council members and county commissioners applauding the Bustang service and its plans for expansion to an upcoming CDOT Transportation Commissioner meeting.
For more information, visit www.ridebustang.com
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