The free downtown shuttle service could come to an end early next year.

The city’s public transportation arm, Mountain Metropolitan Transit, had planned to pay for the shuttle’s operation cost starting in 2008, but proposed 2008 public transportation cuts to cover a $1.3 million budget shortfall include eliminating the shuttle service.

Proponents of the free service say the shuttle has second-most used transit route in the city.

The downtown shuttle service began about three years ago when a federal grant paid for its creation and has since covered its operation costs. But, the grant money runs our early next year, and if Mountain Metro doesn’t decide to pay for its operation, the service will end.

Four public hearings about the proposed transportation cuts are scheduled.

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  1. It’s hard to defend Colorado Springs when the city is so actively regressive in just about every way.

    – COSNative

  2. Well, Native, that’s certainly a sentiment I share, but here’s a bit of good news. The downtown partnership is working on a feasibility study for a trolley-like streetcar that would replace the free shuttle in a couple of years. The streetcar would run regularly between UCCS and downtown.

    But, on that note, here’s a little bad news. Updated ridership data from the free shuttle is very valuable to the feasibility study and valuable for federal grant applications that would pay for the streetcar plan. The Springs will be competing with other cities for the money – cities that likely have free downtown shuttles running and have funding mechanisms in operation.

    So, killing the free bus idea might hurt our streetcar desires down the road.

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