August 5, 2021
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Following a nearly three-month wait, the Colorado Department of Transportation said it is now using its own buses to provide Bustang Outrider service for passengers traveling between northwestern Colorado and Denver.

[Above photo by the Colorado DOT.]

The route – operated seven days a week, including holidays, with fares priced at 17 cents per mile – connects the cities of Craig and Denver via U.S. 40 and Interstate 70. The service began on January 1 with Greyhound buses on a contract basis.

“We wanted to get this line up and running as soon as possible, so we decided it was best to partner with Greyhound [and] use their buses on an interim basis while we focused on getting our new Outrider coaches ready for service,” explained Mike Timlin, interim director of Colorado DOT’s transit and rail division, in a statement.

“Passengers are now boarding our black and teal buses,” he added.

In addition to Craig, regularly scheduled stops include the towns of Hayden, Steamboat Springs, Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby, Tabernash, Fraser, Winter Park, Idaho Springs, the Denver Federal Center and Union Station.

Along with scheduled stops, the route includes a number of “flag stops,” which are places where the bus stops only when a passenger is waiting for, or requests to be dropped off at, a designated location. Flag stops are located in Milner, at the CO 14 junction (Muddy Pass), Parshall, and Empire. The agency plans to add future flag stops based on the potential for viable ridership demand.

Outrider coaches are equipped with a restroom, bike racks, free WiFi (where available), power outlets, and USB ports. Each Outrider coach seats 38 and is handicap accessible. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, each bus is currently limited to 19 passengers.

Other precautions include, but are not limited to: daily enhanced cleaning and sanitizing on all buses, required face masks for drivers and passengers, supplied face masks (for personal use), latex gloves and personal hand sanitizers on all buses, and blocked seats onboard to ensure proper social distancing.

Barring further impacts due to COVID-19 or other circumstances, the agency said three additional Outrider routes should begin service in 2021: Telluride-Grand Junction, Sterling-Greeley and Denver, and Trinidad-Pueblo. Current Outrider routes include Gunnison-Denver, Alamosa-Pueblo, Lamar-Colorado Springs and Durango-Grand Junction.

editor@aashto.org

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