Connecting from Craig to Denver, Bustang plans six bus stops across Grand
Plans are forming for the Bustang route stretching from Craig to Denver with stops in Winter Park, Fraser, Tabernash, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling.
On Tuesday, representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation highlighted the Bustang Outrider stops planned for six towns in Grand County. They also asked county commissioners for recommendations on a schedule and specific locations.
The route will begin in Craig and also stop in Hayden, Milner, Steamboat Springs, Idaho Springs and three places in Denver.
The Bustang Outriders is a regional bus network managed by CDOT and designed to connect rural Colorado with a single service. Money for the program comes from federal and state funds specifically dedicated to the program. CDOT representatives emphasized that this funding should remain stable.
“We don’t anticipate either of these funding sources to go away any time soon, and we’re comfortable moving forward with this money,” a CDOT official told commissioners.
Prices are expected to be 17 cents per mile. For example, the full route from Craig to the Denver Bus Center will cost $34. Craig to Kremmling will be $16 and Granby to Winter Park will be about $3.40.
Seniors will also get to ride for half the cost.
Right now, services have to be paid for with exact cash on the bus. Representatives said that CDOT hopes to finalize a digital sales platform allowing riders to purchase tickets through the Bustang mobile app by the time the new route begins.
The Craig to Denver route is expected to start running early next year, but representatives cautioned that due to the pandemic, it could be delayed by unforeseen circumstances.
Representatives said the intention is to run seven days a week to Denver and back. It will be a fixed route with timed stops.
Outrider is also looking at adding “flag stops” along the route. These will essentially be “unofficial” stops that riders can request in addition to the regular stops.
The new route will not bring any extra costs to local operators, representatives explained. CDOT is only requesting local assistance with finding a spot for physical stops.
“We’re taking on the financial part of this to make it permanent and long term,” explained an official. “We’re just asking every community help us out by providing a place to put the shelter or the pole.”
The department will soon be putting out a request for proposals from potential operators on this route.
CDOT will be working with The Lift bus system and towns in Grand on the locations of bus stops and the timing of the schedule. A survey on the proposal for the general public will also be shared sometime this fall.
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