Apr 292009
Authors: Matt Minich

Solidifying a revised contract with student government Wednesday, Fort Collins’ Transfort bus service will extend service hours of two of its bus routes to 10:30 p.m. next semester, and students will be able to use their RamCards as an all-in-one bus pass.

Additionally, a new bus will be added to the “overcrowded” route 11.

Route 6 — which covers Mulberry Street, Taft Hill Road and Horsetooth Road and terminates in the South Transit Center at Horsetooth and College Avenue — will be one of the routes to see late-night runs. The other, route 3, covers bus stops on Elizabeth Street and Prospect Road as far west as Overland Trail./

Route 11, which takes students to bus stops along Plum Street and to the Ram’s Village apartments complexes on Constitution Avenue, will see the addition of a third bus to alleviate crowding./

The changes will raise the Associated Students of CSU’s transportation budget to $520,000, which is more than $100,000 compared with its current budget of $418,000, said Taylor Smoot, president of ASCSU.

Smoot said he estimated the increase in student fees to be negligible and said it could be as little as 25 cents per year, though he could not give a definite final number.

He said this raise should be considered a deal, as the extended routes and the upgrades required for students to use their student IDs as bus passes will cost Transfort an estimated total of $140,000, he said./

Representatives from Transfort did not return the Collegian’s calls for comment Wednesday afternoon and did not confirm this estimate.

The contract, which has been in negotiation stages between ASCSU and Transfort for weeks, will be signed by both entities within the next two weeks, Smoot said.

“I’m lucky enough to have the honor of taking on this contract,” he said.

Contracts between ASCSU and Transfort are renewed every three years, he said, adding that while students have “wanted these changes for years,” this is the first time the modifications have been put into effect./

Though the contract was scheduled to be signed Wednesday, it was pushed back to clarify some of the language. Quinn Girrens, ASCSU vice president, said the delay was not due to any conflicts about the content of the contract itself.

“It’s just that we didn’t have a computer sitting in front of us (to make changes),” Girrens said.

Around one-third of CSU students stay on campus after hours to study at the library, Smoot said, and these students will be most affected by the changes./

“I stay at the library to study, and I always miss the bus,” said Ikumi Yoshida, a junior liberal arts major. Yoshida also said she had experienced problems with overcrowding on route 11.

“I like to crank the hours in on campus, so I like the idea of having late night shifts,” said Jared Langley, a sophomore civil engineering major. Langley also takes route 11, and called it “the crowded bus.”

Staff writer Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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