DENVER (CBS4)– The Bustang is getting ready to ride along the Front Range and Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor. On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Transportation showed off the new Bustang commuter buses.
The bus service will take passengers from Union Station west along I-70 to Glenwood Springs, north to Fort Collins and south to Colorado Springs.
CDOT says congestion played a big role in the design of the new Bustang buses and the routes. They also hope passengers will save money, time and reduce stress when it comes to traveling those popular corridors.
“It’s only going to get worse. The population is going to grow 30-40 percent in the next 20 years and CDOT does not have the financial capacity to expand those freeways so bus travel will take some cars off the road, give people a comfortable ride with less stress,” said CDOT Director of Transit & Rail Mark Imhoff.
The idea behind the Bustang commuter bus service is to connect the six largest local transit systems all across Colorado.
“The focus of what we’re doing is inter-regional transit, the idea of connecting transit systems to each other, for example Fort Collins to RTD,” said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford.
CDOT said they are not trying to compete with other bus companies like Greyhound.
It cost $10 million to get the Bustang program up and running and is expected to cost about $3 million a year.
“When we were doing the study of services we looked very carefully that we weren’t competing with existing services,” said Ford. “And those commuter routes from Fort Collins and Colorado Springs and even from the mountains on Monday through Friday is something we know people have been asking for but we are looking at expansion.”
The Bustang buses will be easy to spot once they hit the roads because they are painted black and purple with a giant mustang silhouette.
The buses will run Monday-Friday and stop at existing park and ride location. The length of the ride will determine the fare.
The 13 buses are equipped with all the amenities including WiFi, charging stations, room for luggage, security cameras, bike racks, restrooms and are handicapped accessible.
“Reading lights, access to electrical outlets, USB ports and free WiFi!” said Ford.
Fares along the Front Range are $12 at most with Denver to Glenwood Springs being the most expensive ride at $28.
“We know people commute into Denver on a regular basis, we know that they don’t always like the drive. Bustang is a way of making that trip easy and accessible,” said Ford. “Success is also about fare box recovery, that we have a lot of people riding. Our goal is to offset 50 percent of our cost in about five years.”
The Bustang bus service launches July 13. Right now weekend service is not available but it is being considered.