Jan 192009
Authors: Ariel SenaCavillo

As part of its large step-by-step plan to implement changes to its bus system, Transfort presented proposed service changes in a public forum last month and recently announced that the Downtown Transit Center will be closed on Saturdays.

Saturday bus schedules remain unchanged.

The modifications, which have helped the DTC cut costs, forced numerous riders to find alternate routes or to continue without the convenience of riding.

These changes came as a response to the riders’ most frequent comments and plans for change: access to lower income neighborhoods, increased hours of operation and the implementation of a grid system.

Changed routes include routes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 18 and 19. Most, officials said, were changed to accommodate school schedules or were extended to reach more areas. Route 19 is newly created and is to serve the area between CSU and Front Range Community College. Due to minimal boarding, routes 17 and 18 will not be extended, but further stops are planned. The largest change is the elimination of route four for what was cited as its inability to reach financial standards.

Some riders trying to find alternative routes said they are meeting the challenge with difficulty.

“None of (the routes) seem totally safe,” said Dusty Wedemeyer, a CSU employee who rides route four. The elimination of the route she’s been using for 26 years has left even the bus drivers who know her concerned about how she’ll get to work, she said.

Available to respond to public comments at the forum was Transit Planner Nicole Hahn, who worked directly with the Associated Students of CSU to change the routes to better accommodate students and staff.

Not everyone, though, she said, could be served with these new changes.

“We use the resources we have the best we can,” Hahn said.

With the elimination of route four and new schedules for other routes, some students said they won’t be able to ride due to overcrowding on Transfort’s buses.

“I usually have to stand on the way,” junior public relations major Ashley Frost said. Frost said she was also concerned that the new schedule would affect finals weeks and suggested different schedules for those times.

Transfort will hold another public forum with revised phases for the transition at the end of February. Changes will begin to be seen in March.

Staff writer Ariel Sena-Calvillo can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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