On Bustang’s 4th anniversary, 107 elected officials show support for continued growth

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Ridership up 23% from last year, 230,000 rides last year

CoPIRG Foundation

Ridership on Bustang, Colorado’s statewide bus service, surged another 23% in its fourth year of operation, marking the fourth year in a row ridership grew on its core routes that connect communities along I-25 and I-70. In total, Bustang’s North, South, and West Lines provided 238,252 trips between July 2018 and June 2019, up 133% from the 102,503 trips Bustang provided in its first year of service. 

To mark Bustang’s fourth anniversary, CoPIRG Foundation staff delivered a giant birthday card signed by 107 local elected officials congratulating the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which operates Bustang, on its success and demonstrating support for its continued expansion.

“Every year, Bustang provides tens of thousands of people with the freedom to travel to Denver from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and mountain towns along I-70 and vice versa without driving a car,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Foundation’s Director. “The huge growth in ridership demonstrates the clear need for even more statewide bus service like Bustang and over 100 local elected officials agree.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched the Bustang interregional express bus service in July, 2015. It started with three main routes, the South Line connecting Colorado Springs to Denver, the North Line connecting Fort Collins to Denver, and the West Line connecting Glenwood Springs and other I-70 mountain towns to Denver. The service only operated on weekdays. 

Responding to packed buses and big increases in ridership, CDOT has made a number of improvements to Bustang over the last four years including:

  • Adding weekend service and more buses to the original routes
  • Launching a direct connection between Colorado Springs and the Denver Tech Center
  • Extending the West Line to Grand Junction
  • Adding news stops in places like Idaho Springs, Parachute and Rifle
  • Providing the Rams Route to connect the Colorado State University community with Denver
  • Operating rides to Broncos games. 

In 2018, CDOT also launched the Bustang Outrider service to connect communities beyond the I-70 and I-25 corridor. The Bustang Outrider routes are Gunnison to Denver; Durango to Grand Junction; Lamar to Pueblo and Colorado Springs; and Alamosa to Pueblo through Salida and Canon City. The Bustang Outrider service has provided 25,000 trips since its launch. 

“CDOT deserves applause for recognizing the strong demand for traveling across the state in a bus equipped with wifi and a bathroom. They have consistently added more buses and routes to accommodate the demand. CDOT needs to keep their foot on the gas and think big about future expansion because this is an important tool for improving our transportation system and ultimately our quality of life in Colorado,” said Katz.

Currently, CDOT is developing a transportation plan and is receiving comments at its website at https://www.codot.gov/programs/colorado-transportation-matters/your-tran…

For more information on Bustang, visit www.ridebustang.com