By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— Rio Grande County Commissioner Gene Glover gave an update on the bus route that began on Tuesday, May 5 in Del Norte during the board’s regular meeting on May 30.
Glover explained that Bustang, a company through the Colorado Department of Transportation, will not be handling the line for another couple of years. Another company, Eagle Line, has taken over the route and will start running the bus two days a week.
“CDOT officials stated that they would not be bringing Bustang to the area just yet and would need to wait for up to five years before they would start the company in the Valley. Eagle Line has been chosen to take the route over and though the details for the route, how much it will run and how much they will charge for rides over to Salida are still in the works, it will begin next Tuesday, [June 5],” explained Glover.
Glover continued, explaining that a survey was being completed for the route that will run on Tuesdays, starting at the Alta gas station in Del Norte, pick-up and drop-off in Monte Vista before heading to Center, Saguache, Villa Grove and on to Salida, where they hope that people will utilize the larger bus lines to complete their journey to places like Pueblo, Colorado Springs and beyond. “It is not certain how far the route will go or if it will be expanded until we get it up and running and see how many people will use it,” said Glover.
The bus will then run on Thursdays, beginning in Salida, heading over to Center and ultimately ending in Alamosa. Glover stated that he feels the opportunity of having a bus route in the Valley will greatly impact the communities and the people who lack transportation. “This is hoping to be a huge benefit to the community, as long as we can get it up and going. For now, it looks like prices will range from $2 up to $11 for the entire trip over to Salida. The prices will be finalized as soon as we have the survey completed hopefully within the first week that the bus runs,” said Glover.
Originally, Rio Grande County Commissioners voted to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Western SLV Transit Committee to help with costs associated with a traffic study for a bus route in the Valley back in March. The agreement was between Monte Vista, Center, Saguache, Del Norte, Rio Grande County, Saguache County and the Saguache Chamber of Commerce. The MOU helped pay for the costs associated with the survey that will take place once the busses are up and running.