Buses to run on Sundays, possibly Saturday nights

       After at least a 15-year absence, city buses are going to run on Sundays again.
       The service, to start as early as July, will occur thanks to the infusion of Rural Transit Authority tax money this year, according to Amy MacDonald, public information coordinator for Springs Transit.
       Another possible enhancement this year is adding routes on Saturday evenings, she said. Currently, there are no routes after about 7 p.m.
       These plans are being worked out by a committee of Springs Transit and city employees, with hopes of having routes ready for public review by the end of this month or early March, MacDonald said.
       The Westside impact would be to its Colorado Avenue routes - 11M (Manitou) and 11U (Uintah Gardens) - route 18 (to Holland Park) and 8 (from Holland Park). All of these currently run six days a week, with 11M and 11U going outbound from the downtown terminal westbound on Colorado Avenue on alternating half-hours, except at night, when only 11M runs. Routes 8 and 18 also run at night.
       Overall, Springs Transit provides bus service to Colorado Springs and some outlying areas. Without RTA, the agency's '05 budget would have been $11 million. With RTA - a voter-approved measure that gives 10 percent of its 1-cent sales tax to Springs Transit - the agency's budget this year will be $17.5 million.
       Springs Transit officials had no exact date for the last time Sunday service was provided. The nearest guess from agency staff was the late 1980s.
       Longer-range bus-service enhancements are also being studied. By 2007, the expectation is an 83 pecent increase in service hours for regular in-city routes. Springs Transit is also planning to create more transfer locations, so that riders don't have to always go downtown to connect to other bus routes, MacDonald said.
       It is premature to say how many such transfer sites there will be or where they will be located, she added, but agreed hypothetically that a strategically located site could allow someone on Colorado Avenue, for example, to take a bus to Holland Park without leaving the Westside.
       In the meantime, MacDonald said Springs Transit is making an effort to make the downtown station “more user friendly. We don't want to encourage people hanging out there, but at least to have it clean for people while they're waiting for the bus.”

Westside Pioneer article