‘Bustang’ system unveiled during stock show parade

Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 8: Colorado Department of Transportation shows off it's new bus, called the Bustang,that will be used to connect Colorado cities from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs to Glenwood Springs during the Stock Show Parade along 17th ave in Denver, CO on January 8, 2014.. This is one of the 13 buses that will begin operating along the front range and into the mountains soon. CDOT took the opportunity to showcase their new bus while it participated in the stock show parade that commemorates the 109th Stock Show this year.

One of Colorado’s new fleet of state-owned and -operated buses was unveiled Thursday during the National Western Stock Show parade — and it stood out even among the prancing horses preening for onlookers.

The 45-foot, 51-seat bus is one of 13 that will connect major population centers along Interstate 25 and the Interstate 70 mountain corridor to downtown Denver starting this spring. The transit system’s name, Bustang, was picked because it best represents the state’s love of horses and a growing desire for mass transit, said Colorado Department of Transportation officials.

“It’s just evocative of Colorado,” said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford. “We have a mustang (statue) greeting people coming to and from the airport, and a horse is the mascot for our football team. So why not let it be the name of a new kind of bus service?”

Bustang is a response to a steady demand for a reliable transit alternative along the highest traveled corridors in the state, said Mark Imhoff, CDOT’s director of transit.

“Bustang offers an affordable and comfortable alternative for those traveling to and from Denver during the week,” he said.

Along the I-70 mountain corridor, Bustang will operate one round trip during weekdays between Glenwood Springs and Denver Union Station. Along I-25, there will be six daily round trips (five at peak times, one off-peak) from Colorado Springs to Union Station and five daily round trips (four peak, one off-peak) from Fort Collins to Union Station.

The buses will stop at existing park-n-Ride locations along each route with fares reflected by length of trip. A one-way trip from Fort Collins to Denver is $10; Colorado Springs to Denver is $12; Glenwood Springs to Denver is $28; and Vail to Denver is $17. Discounts are available.

Each coach bus is equipped with bike racks, free WiFi, power outlets and USB ports. They are also handicapped-accessible, and “most importantly,” said Imhoff, “they will have restrooms.”