Drunk bus to be made permanent

The Late Night Bus System is being re-examined in order to improve numbers and to make it a permanent addition to services for CSU students, according to Associated Students of CSU President Regina Martel.

Martel added that the bus system, which is still in its tryout year, took approximately 1,254 students home July 2011 and 1,289 in August 2012. On average, that’s about 160 people per night of operation.

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By comparison, RamRide drives about 400 students home per night of operation, according to ASCSU reports.

“The (bus) numbers aren’t bad by any means,” Martel said. “Especially since the program is still in its first year, but we definitely are working to improve them and keep this program going long-term.”

The program was created on a one-year contract. Now that contract is up for review by both ASCSU and Transfort to determine its efficiency and effectiveness. Transfort is willing to renew the contract to keep the late night bus system operating, according to Transfort Manager Kurt Ravenschlag.

“We are currently budgeting our portion of the contract,” he said. “Given that ASCSU continues to contribute the same amount, we want to continue renewing it.”

The system, which consists of two routes along downtown Fort Collins, was part of a program largely created by the last ASCSU administration, and put into effect under Martel.

“We actually had ASCSU members canvas all of Old Town to try to create this program,”  Martel said. “We had them surveying people to determine where people like to go and how this system could best serve the students of CSU. There was a lot of work put into this and we hope to keep it going for as long as possible.”

The bus system, which consists of two routes, hits most major roads in the downtown area, such as Mulberry Street, Taft Hill Road, College Avenue, Elizabeth Street and Laurel Street, and can be accessed every 15 minutes on the corner of Mountain Avenue and Remington Street.

According to Martel, ASCSU intends to improve the sustainability of this program by improving marketing strategies and communication with the larger Fort Collins community.

“We’ve been communicating with the Fort Collins Police Department a lot on this front,” Martel said. “We’ve also been talking to the city council and the Downtown Business Association on ways to improve the bus system and how it serves the community.”

Transfort is not currently considering adding any service improvements, but they are considering moving its start time from 11:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the request of student government.

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“ … we do need to continue to think about the money aspect of that and where that money would be coming from,” Martel said.

ASCSU Beat reporter Carrie Mobley can be reached at news@collegian.com.