image02The Colorado Department of Transportation announced this week the anticipated launch of Bustang, Colorado’s first state-owned and -operated bus system connecting Colorado Springs to Fort Collins and Denver to Glenwood Springs.

Buses will run during the work week and provide transportation along the Interstate-25 corridor as well as mountain corridors accessed via Interstate 70. Bustang will offer service routes during peak commuting times with an official service launch in the spring, according to a CDOT news release.

“CDOT is more than just building and maintaining our roads,” said Don Hunt, executive director of CDOT. “We are committed to helping people think differently about how they travel and what Coloradans tell us they are looking for is a different type of ride. Bustang will provide that choice.”

The bus service responds to demand from the traveling public for a reliable transit alternative along the highest traveled corridors in the state, the release stated. Bustang introduces an interregional element to the local transit network, providing a peak period express service that enhances the capacity of the existing transportation system without major infrastructure costs.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in traffic congestion along the major commuting corridors in Colorado,” said Mark Imhoff, CDOT director of transit.

Along the I-70 mountain corridor, Bustang will operate one round trip during weekdays between Glenwood Springs and Denver Union Station. Along I-25, there will be six round trips per day (five peak, one off-peak) from Colorado Springs to Denver and five round trips per day (four peak, one off-peak) from Fort Collins to Denver.

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The bus service will stop at existing park-and-ride locations along each route with fares reflected by length of trip. Multiple trip packages will be available at a discounted price as well as a 25 percent discount for disabled persons and seniors 65 and older.

The Bustang fleet will feature 13 buses in rotation on each respective route. Each coach is equipped with restrooms, bike racks, free WiFi, power outlets and USB ports. Coaches offer a 50-passenger capacity and are handicap accessible. Colorado Springs to Union Station in Denver will cost $12 one way. Other fares range from $10 for a one-way trip from Fort Collins to Denver, to $28 for a one-way trip from Glenwood Springs to Union Station.

The launch of Bustang helps further CDOT’s multi-modal mission and fulfills a key responsibility outlined in the 2009 FASTER legislation, which established CDOT’s Division of Transit and Rail, according to the release.