A new Transfort FLEX express bus service connecting Fort Collins and Boulder began operating Monday to meet the changing needs of the community along the North Front Range.
Alongside the Bustang and the Flatiron Flyer, two of the other newest routes in the region, FLEX aims to increase the ease of transportation between communities.
A trial period in which the bus is free for all to use is currently ongoing, with normal fare prices resuming Jan. 22.
The route is part of a growing network of connections between Colorado State University and the University of Colorado.
“It’s a great thing,” said Aaron Fodge, CSU’s alternative transportation manager. “It connects the two universities together. So from a student perspective, that might mean the chance to take classes, and from a faculty perspective it could mean collaborating on projects.”
Primarily oriented towards commuters, the new route will consist of weekday service during peak commuting hours.
According to Fodge, those who might make daily trips between Fort Collins and Boulder by car for work or school would experience significant savings on gasoline if they were to switch to taking the FLEX route. About 1,200 CSU students and 800 CSU faculty have residential addresses within two miles of the new route.
“(Driving) 80 miles for a round trip five days a week … it would be significant savings for somebody even when gas is $1.70 a gallon,” Fodge said.
CSU’s ability to benefit from the new route is strongly belayed by the FLEX route’s use of the MAX bus guideways for the ending of the route near campus. According to Fodge, this will make the service considerably more convenient for campus community members to use.
“You just hop on like it’s a MAX bus,” Fodge said. “Just make sure it’s the right one. They’ll look different.”
The trip, which lasts about an hour and thirty minutes each way, is always free for CSU students, faculty and staff with their RamCards. The fee for community members is $1.25 for one-way travel — fare for seniors and the disabled is 60 cents.
The additional route was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, as well as support from numerous cities, counties and transportation systems.
A ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the start of this new service will take place Thursday on the MAX University station platform from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and will feature several speakers including Fodge, Fort Collins Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Horak and Tom Milligan, vice president for external relations at CSU.
Collegian Reporter Julia Rentsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @julia_rentsch.