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CoPIRG lauds Bustang for picking up the pace across Colorado

Author: Joey Bunch - August 17, 2017 - Updated: August 16, 2017

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CoPirg is celebrating the Bustang’s second year, as the horse-named Greyhound is picking up the pace as it connects Denver to Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and some of the mountain towns.

The left-leaning research nonprofit based in Denver released ridership numbers this week that show the Bustang’s use jumped 52 percent to 155,864 trips.

CoPIRG Foundation staff greeted riders and the public Tuesday at Bustang’s gate in Denver’s Union Station, collecting signatures on a giant birthday card.

The CoPIRG Foundation plans to deliver card to the Colorado Department of Transportation along with a letter signed by 41 Colorado mayors, city council members and county commissioners in support of expanding the regional 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,” Danny Katz, CoPIRG Foundation’s director, tells Colorado Politics in an e-mail. “The huge growth in ridership demonstrates the clear need for even more statewide bus service like Bustang.”

Bustang ridership
(Provided by CoPirg)

The Denver Post reported this week that the service cost had a $10 million startup cost and takes about $3 million a year to operate. Last year it brought in about $1.5 million.

CDOT has a fleet of 13 black-and-purple coaches that each seat 51 riders. Each has wifi and room to store bicycles, along with restrooms so you can go while you’re going.

A ride from Denver to Fort Collins cost $10, to Colorado Springs it’s $12 and at the westernmost destination, Glenwood Springs, it’s $28 with cheaper stops in between at Idaho Springs ($5), Frisco ($12), Vail ($17) and Eagle ($22).

The Bustang also charters for events such as Broncos games, skiers and the RamsRoute, which ferries Colorado State students from Fort Collins to Denver on Friday nights and back on Sunday nights during the school 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.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.


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