CSU students who take advantage of Transfort, Fort Collinsâ€™ student bus service, can now travel past the city limits for free.
The Fort Collins Longmont Express, FLEX, provides free transport between Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud and Longmont.
Marlys Sittner, the general manager of Transfort, said the system was started because of the â€œdemand for a service going from Fort Collins to Denver.â€
Though FLEX does not go directly to Denver, students can ride to Longmont and transfer to the Regional Transportation District, which goes to Denver.
Students can ride free to Longmont using their student IDs, but they have to pay $3.50 for the express route and $4.50 for the regional route to travel to places farther south, such as downtown Denver and Boulder.
Sittner said they fund the service through a grant called the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, or CMAQ. While the town of Loveland received the grant, Transfortâ€™s partnership with Loveland allowed them to extend the service of the existing Foxtrot to Longmont.
â€œTransfort has a great relationship with (the Associated Students of CSU), and students can use the bus system normally with just their student ID,â€ said Sittner. â€œWe thought that they should just extend and continue that system.â€
The CMAQ grant funds FLEX for two years and, â€œif there is not good ridership, the system will go back to service between Loveland and Fort Collins only,â€ Sittner said.
Nicole Hahn, the transit planner for Transfort, said there has been â€œgood ridership so far, but a lot of students donâ€™t know about the system because it is brand new, and they are working on getting the word out.â€
Staff writer Kate Reitinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.