Colorado Proposing Shuttle Service Along I-70

Anson Brown | | Industry NewsIndustry News
I-70 through Colorado
Interstate 70 making its way through the Front Range of Colorado. Image courtesy of Michael Ryno.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is proposing a shuttle service that will run from the Denver metro area on the Front Range along Interstate 70 as far as Eagle County. According to 9News, the state is proposing to expand on the current Bustang services that runs between Denver and Grand Junction three times a week as well as up to ski resorts during the winter.

CDOT’s current proposal involves running twelve round trips on peak travel days with independently contracted shuttles throughout the winter. The shuttles would run from the Denver metro area with stops in Frisco, Vail, and Avon. Kay Kelly, who heads the CDOT’s Office of Innovative Mobility, told the Colorado Transportation Commission last week that:

“this is really a nice way to address [vehicles miles traveled], and emissions, and greenhouse gases, and to just offer an attractive mobility option and alternative to the single-occupant vehicles status quo.”

Bustang bus service that runs between Denver and the mountains
A Bustang bus, one of the current shuttle services connecting Denver and other areas in Colorado. Image courtesy of Mountain Ride Transportation Resource Center.

Pending approval from the Transportation Commission, the shuttle service would be able to begin operations in December of 2021. Unlike the Bustang buses, the smaller shuttles would be able to use the new toll express lanes near Idaho Springs, and drivers without commercial drivers licenses would be able to operate them. Riders will need to reserve rides, and fares for the rides would likely be around $5 from Frisco to Avon/Vail, $14 from Denver to Frisco, and $20 from Denver to Avon/Vail.

CDOT estimates that the cost of such a service will be around $1.3 million initially, with $1-1.23 million in costs needed each year. Much of the annual operating costs, at least at first, will be paid for by federal stimulus funds. While it remains to be seen the exact effects of this new shuttle service, it seems like a good start towards tackling the huge traffic problems that I-70 sees most weekends.

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