Beginning Monday, CSU students and faculty are now able to travel by transit between CSU’s main campus and the Foothills Campus, located on the west end of Laporte Avenue.
The route, TransFort Route 33, runs between the two campuses once every hour.
The route is the result of cooperation between Colorado State University and the Fort Collins TransFort service.
The 2015-2016 Associated Students of Colorado State University administration worked to implement the route, and current ASCSU President Daniela Pineda Soracá approved the budget for the project.
“This is a continuation of a great relationship that we have with ASCSU and CSU with regards to providing public transportation to the students, faculty and staff,” TransFort General Manager Kurt Ravenschlag said.
The opening of Route 33 signifies the complete connection of all the CSU campuses in Fort Collins. Prior to the route’s operations, students and faculty using the Foothills campus were often faced with the challenge of traveling to and from the main campus without a personal vehicle.
Because of the four mile distance to the Foothills campus from the main campus, students and faculty had to make decisions of whether hold classes, laboratories and research in at the campus.
“What makes this really significant is that this is the last location on campus in Fort Collins that we haven’t served by transit,” says Aaron Fodge, CSU’s alternative transportation manager. “So, now we’re able to serve all incoming students and tell them honestly that you don’t need to have a personal vehicle to go to class here.”
Route 33 also plays a role in helping CSU achieve its Climate Action Plan for 2015. In 2008, CSU signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an effort by American universities and colleges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In line with the commitment, CSU plans to reduce emissions by 75 percent by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality, or zero net carbon emissions, by 2050.
According to ASCSU Director of Environmental Affairs Hanna Johnson, Route 33 will help reduce CSU’s carbon emissions.
“The more we can encourage students to leave their cars at home and use alternative transportation, the faster the University can reach its net zero carbon emission goals,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that between faculty, students and staff, more than 14,000 metric tons of carbon were emitted in 2015 due to commuting.
“Having easy access to every CSU building through public transportation helps the University create a car-free culture on campus, and I think that’s definitely worth ASCSU’s time, money and efforts,” Johnson said.
The route is operated through contract by Green Ride, a private shuttle company serving Wyoming and northern Colorado. Green Ride is a member of Climate Wise, an effort by the city of Fort Collins to help businesses work towards being as green as possible, Green Ride Community Outreach Officer Ann Schofield said.
The inclusion of Route 33 has also brought the Transit Center bays to full capacity. Fodge says that this means that a new bay will need to be constructed for private shuttles. Fodge also expects that the new bay will be used by vehicles from transportation services such as Lyft and Uber in the future.