Oct 082003
 
Authors: Carl McCutchen

Budget cuts for CSU and Fort Collins will cause some students to

not have a safe ride home beginning January 2004, when Transfort

Night Service will run only one route instead of the current

three.

Night Service routes 62 and 63 will be cut, but a redesigned

route 61 will still run.

Marlys Sittner, operations manager for the city, said the reason

for cutting Night Service routes is because the city cannot afford

to run its daytime Transfort operations. Also, when Night Service

debuted in 1998, the city contracted with Associated Students of

CSU so that ASCSU, through student fees, would pay for the Night

Service program.

“When ASCSU approached us it wasn’t something that we wanted to

put our money on because we had all the day needs,” she said.

Sittner also said that in the recent years, costs of operating

Transfort Night Service have risen and budgets for both the city

and ASCSU have fallen, causing both organizations to struggle with

funding the program. Although it was contracted that ASCSU would

solely pay for Night Service, the city did assist with funding in

the last couple years.

According to numbers released by the city, the annual cost of

Night Service for 2002 was $168,764. ASCSU budgeted $126,196 for

Night Service, leaving the city to help with the remaining $42,568,

which Sittner said is no longer possible because that money should

have gone to fund Transfort during the day.

“Ridership just never caught on like we wanted it to,” Sittner

said, “We have areas that we want to serve too, but can’t because

the money isn’t there.”

ASCSU President Jesse Lauchner said that losing Night Service

routes is unfortunate, but the ASCSU budget is exhausted.

“For the time being our money is not enough and no one is

helping us out,” Lauchner said.

He also said that he feels for students that will be unable to

get Night Service rides, but this is not a situation that ASCSU put

itself in.

Robert Brooks, a freshman open option major who uses Transfort

Night service, said taking away routes is wrong for the city and

ASCSU to do.

“Isn’t that a crime to take away a means of public

transportation,” he said. “It’s not right for the people who have

to travel.”

The city proposed three options for the redesigned route 61 to

ASCSU in September, and the deadline for a choice is set for Oct.

15.

The three route options cover the same areas, but each takes a

different amount of time and starts at different streets.

“The city’s position was we asked ASCSU what areas they wanted

to serve and we designed routes to accommodate those requests,”

Sittner said.

Lauchner said that ASCSU is currently leaning toward the option

that would accommodate the most students, but take a little longer.

This route would cover parts of Overland Trail and Old Town.

“We have been forced to sacrifice so much coverage that we have

to keep what we can,” he said.

Lauchner also said that there is one positive to the city no

longer assisting ASCSU with funding.

“Now that ASCSU is solely supporting Night Service, any cash

from the fare box that the general public pays, comes back to CSU,”

he said.

Info Box:

For more information on the proposed route 61 visit the ASCSU

office in the Lory Student Center or call 491-5931.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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