Making transportation more earth-friendly is a constant effort at Colorado State University, a campus that is becoming increasingly car-free and encourages sustainability.
A recently-formed student chapter of the Colorado People’s Research Interest Group is petitioning to increase the availability of the Bustang, a bus that will run through Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs and Glenwood Springs.
The Colorado Department of Transportation currently plans for the bus to run only on weekdays, but CoPIRG at CSU believes that students would more likely be able to utilize this route if it were available on weekends.
The CSU CoPIRG group is petitioning CDOT to allow the Bustang to run on weekends, when students don’t have class and are available to use it.
“We’re not advocating for anything to happen — it’s happening, no matter what we want,” said Lauren Howery, freshmen communication studies and history major and CoPIRG intern. “We’re advocating for the students to have access to it.”
The Bustang will begin running in summer 2015, but meanwhile, collaboration has occurred between CoPIRG, CDOT, CSU Parking and Transportation and the Associated Students of Colorado State University to create a petition and provide feedback on student transportation use, according to CoPIRG intern and junior political science major Dylan Blade.
“The Bustang has the potential to become a useful carbon emission reduction tool for CSU, by helping to get CSU commuters’ single occupancy vehicles off the road,” wrote Sam Block, director of Environmental Affairs for ASCSU, in an email to the Collegian. “ASCSU will be working with CDOT … to ensure that the Bustang becomes an accessible and useful service that CSU students can enjoy.”
These groups are working together because transportation is an issue that effects the majority of students. The Bustang will be easy to use, cost efficient and environmentally friendly, according to Blade.
“We’re all kind of working together and splitting the work load to make sure that the Bustang’s going to work when it comes out,” Blade said. “We want to make sure there’s a large amount of visibility, so that the students know that they can use it.”
According to Blade, the Bustang will be an important resource for students, especially freshmen, because, as parking options on campus become fewer with increased on-campus construction, “freshmen won’t be able to bring up their cars … so if they can come up here on the bus, they won’t need to have their cars up here.”
The Bustang itself will be on the CSU plaza for Earth Day, which according to both Blade and Howery, will hopefully bring more awareness to what CoPIRG is trying to do.
“We’re going to be out there, helping to promote the Bustang, but also trying to show CDOT that students would use this on the weekends,” Blade said. “We want to show them that students will actually use this, and that they’re not going to be wasting money or anything like that by opening up those two days.”
The CSU CoPIRG group can be found on Facebook or on the Plaza, campaigning for more effective transportation throughout Colorado.
Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @lemarie.