Bus service arriving ahead of schedule


VALLEY — Regular bus service from Alamosa to Pueblo will arrive next May courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) which has received grant money for rural areas from the Federal Transit Administration.

The service was originally scheduled to begin in July.

The Lamar to Pueblo Bustang Outrider service begins Jan. 2, with one round trip/weekday. This is the first Outrider local entity partnership the company is entering into. Six branded Bustang Outrider buses have been ordered with delivery expected in February or March. These are 35-foot coaches with restrooms, WiFi, etc. Three of the six will go to SRDA. 

• one for the Lamar to Pueblo route; put into service as soon as available.

• one for the Alamosa to Pueblo route

• one spare

Bustang Outrider service for Alamosa to Pueblo begins with one round trip each day, seven days a week. Fares will vary with distance. Trip fees will run $21 one-way from Alamosa to Pueblo. Alamosa to Pueblo and Gunnison to Denver routes are one month ahead of the initial start date.

Service from Gunnison to Salida to Denver begins July 1. Bustang Outrider service begins with one round trip each day, seven days a week. Travelers will pay $35 one-way from Gunnison to Denver. The service will be operated by a private provider as there were no takers on the local partnership offer.

Fares for the service are based on $0.17/mile. Seniors and disabled riders will only pay half the listed fare. Online tickets can be issued via a mobile ticket on any smart phone, much like an airline boarding pass. Cash is also accepted on the bus

Schedules and fares available at ridebustang.com

The Transit Alliance/SLV Rural Citizens Academy held a day-long seminar in Alamosa this October to promote the use of the service and discuss the possibility of developing feeder lines that will help Valley citizens make the Pueblo connection from Alamosa.

Towns could create their own shuttles to Alamosa and other towns to help folks get back and forth and if the service was kept to no more than 15-passengers, could avoid expensive insurance costs. The service could provide employment opportunities for drivers and care providers, officials developing the service said.

Bustang Outrider expansion plan currently in the development phase. A recommended service plan should be ready for the Transportation Commission mid-2018.