Fort Collins needs better public transportation

Shanel Hughes
Shanel Hughes

Dear Rams, I have to make a confession. Now, this is not an easy confession for me to make and the thought of writing it down on paper makes me a little nauseated, but here it goes: I am jealous of the CU Buffs.

There, I said it. And, I mean it. But, for a reason that we all might be a little jealous of them: their public transportation system. I know there are many other Rams like myself who do not have a car in Fort Collins. You, like me, have probably tried to navigate the bus system, only to realize they stop running before the sun even goes down, leaving you stranded and with enough miles between you and home to re-evaluate your life. And don’t even think of going anywhere adventurous on the weekend. A journey with the public transportation system here in Fort Collins is enough to leave anyone feeling dissatisfied and questioning if the free price is too much.

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As a Denver native, I am used to having good public transportation at my beck and call. With buses that run nearly 24 hours a day and a speedy light rail system, Denver is easy to navigate if you want to avoid the stress of terrible drivers and traffic. Many of you from other big cities can probably say the same about your public transportation system. If you are from a place that does not even have a public transportation system and are happy with what Fort Collins has to offer, I am telling you now: you deserve better.

The University of Colorado not only shares its public transportation system with Denver, but also provides students with a direct bus that takes them straight to downtown Denver for a cheap price. Now, that is nice: imagine making plans with your friends for the weekend and having the option to go down to Denver to enjoy their night life and come back up to Fort Collins without even spending nearly as much on gas as you would have if you would have driven. Imagine buses running past 7 p.m. for a late night store run or if your movie let out a little late. Having this flexibility would allow some ease of the mind when traveling around the city.

On many days, some people don’t even get out of work until seven o’clock or later. The only time they may be able to run their errands are on the weekends. That would be OK if all the buses ran on the weekends, but they do not. The system is inefficient for those who may have no other option.

Public transportation is becoming more of a popular option as people become more conscious of how their transportation choices effect the Earth. Some options other than driving would be walking, biking, using public transportation and carpooling. Some places are just too far to walk or bike, and with time constraints, that may not always be a viable option.

Also, if you don’t know anyone with a car or someone going the same way as you, how can you carpool? If public transportation is the only option, it should be efficient for the people of the city. People should be able to use it to get to important places in the city and get there during popular times of the day. It would be helpful if the buses ran during these times.

I know that Fort Collins is a town where some things close early. This may be the reason the buses stop running so early — this is fine. But, maybe there should be a bus or three that runs after hours, for people who may get off work later or shop a little longer than they meant. It would even be nice to have night buses that go to and from campus, especially on the weekends.

I am not sure of the reasons why the buses in Fort Collins stop running so early, but I know that they have left me stranded more than once. I know that there are other people who need and depend on public transportation and are probably disappointed in the system here in Fort Collins. The creation of the new Max system may cut down on some of these problems, but I won’t even be here to find out. So my friends, I do not confess to being jealous of many things, especially the students at CU, but when it comes to their transportation system in comparison to ours, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.

Shanel Hughes is a senior tired of being left stranded. Feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

IN BRIEF

  • The city of Fort Collins needs a better transportation system

  • Public transportation is an important option when it comes to being earth-conscious

  • Many people use this system and it would be beneficial to them it were more efficient