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New bus route relieves overcrowding on rides to county's Service Center

       The city-owned Mountain Metro Transit has added a bus route between the downtown terminal and El Paso County's Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road.
       Titled Route 2, it runs hourly on weekdays during the morning and evening rush hours. According to Vicki McCann of the city's Transit Division, the bus was needed to relieve the overcrowding on Route 14, previously the only line from the downtown to the center.

Bus Route 2 is shown between the downtown terminal and the Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road.
Courtesy of City Transit Division
       “It was getting up to 56 people at a time,” she said, adding that the high demand was even causing schedule delays.
       The 14 bus still leaves the downtown terminal throughout the day at a quarter to the hour. Its time is staggered with Route 2, which leaves the downtown a quarter after the hour. For now, 2's outbound times are 7:45, 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 in the morning and 2:45 and 3:45 in the afternoon.
       Route 2 is a few minutes faster than 14, using I-25 for part of the way (Bijou to Fontanero) and not having as many stops, McCann said.
       After getting off at the Fontanero interchange, the outbound 2 bus goes north on Chestnut, west on Fillmore, north on Centennial and west on Garden of the Gods Road to the Citizens Service Center. Inbound, it follows the same route in reverse.
       The outbound 14 bus goes from the downtown across the Bijou bridge to Spruce Street, then north through the Westside using Spruce, Walnut and Chestnut and then follows Holland Park neighborhood streets to Garden of the Gods Road.
       Another benefit of the layout for the 2 bus is anticipated in mid-August, when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open its outpatient clinic at Centennial at Fillmore. A stop is planned there, McCann said.
       Looking further ahead, she explained that the city/Mountain Metro will expand Route 2, starting Sept. 8. It will increase to 10 hours a day, and Saturday service will be added (in part because the clinic will be open Saturdays).
       Funding for Route 2 is coming from available revenues from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, which pays the bulk of city transit costs. Also, McCann said, “Based on our five-year financial projection, we are confident we can sustain this additional service for the foreseeable future.”
       The cost to ride Route 2 is the same as elsewhere in the system: $1.75 one way. Discounts for age or disability also exist, and bulk packages are available. For more information, call 385-5419 or e-mail transitinfo@springsgov.com.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 5/22/14; Transportation: Transit)

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