(TNS) –– A regional bus route is one step closer to reality for Greeley, Fort Collins and Windsor residents, as the Greeley City Council on Tuesday gave staff a nod of approval to continue working on a plan to help commuters from the three northern Colorado communities.
Council members and city staffers lauded the plan, saying it would help with congestion, among other things.
Greeley-Evans Transit manager Will Jones presented a variety of data to council members during the council's Tuesday work session, including potential routes, costs and the results of a survey of residents in all three cities.
This area was home to a regional transit route from 2009 to 2011 but suffered from a lack of ridership and was shut down. Jones on Tuesday pointed to survey results showing a much healthier appetite for the service.
Nearly 1,800 residents were surveyed, and 882 of those said they would use regional transportation at least three days per week.
Satisfying that desire won't come cheap, though it's unclear how costs would be shared between communities.
The tentative plan calls for Greeley-Evans Transit to buy five buses to support the service. The buses would be housed in Greeley and would cost $2.8 million. Jones said state and federal grants could cover 80 percent of that cost, leaving $560,000 to split among the cities.
Further, it would cost $525,000 per year to operate the buses, a number that could be reduced by $200,000 if all of the grants fall into place.
Jones also presented proposed routes. Greeley's dabbles around downtown before shooting west on 10th Street (U.S. 34 business), then turning north on Colo. 257 toward Windsor.
In Windsor, the bus would turn west on Eastman Park Drive, then turn back north on Weld County Road 17 to get to Colo. 392 before heading west to Interstate 25. The route is designed to avoid the five railroad crossings on 257 in the run-up to 392.
The route would continue north on I-25 to Colo. 14 (Mulberry Street), with a stop at the Harmony transportation center in between. The bus would continue west on Mulberry, past College Avenue, to the Colorado State University transit center on the northern side of the CSU campus.
The route is designed as a commuter route for people going to work or school, and as such, the proposed schedule is rather limited at this point.
There are four departures planned from 5-7:35 a.m. for westbound commuters from Greeley, and four from 6:40-9:15 a.m. for eastbound commuters from Fort Collins.
For both east- and westbound commuters, there are three departure times for returners.
It's unclear when any of this would take place, though regional transportation is part of Greeley-Evans Transit's 5-10 year plan.
©2017 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.