ARCHIVED  January 1, 1996

Loveland gears up for bus routes

LOVELAND – The days of steering through rush-hour traffic between Loveland and Fort Collins could come to a halt for commuters who opt for a recommended bus service planned to start next year.
“The connection between Loveland and Fort Collins is likely to happen in 1997,´ said Tom Gathmann, city engineer for Loveland. “We’re optimisticat a staff level that we [the cities and county] could share the cost.”
Implementation of any plan is contingent on approval from the city councils involved. The net cost for the one route would be about $269,300 annually, according to David Sharfarz, of Transportation and Logistics of Boulder. Part of the project would be federally funded.
Some federal money previously used by Care-A-Van could go to the bus route. Care-A-Van, a special bus service funded by Loveland, the United Way and the federal government, travelled between Loveland and Fort Collins two days a week until it ceased to exist Dec. 31. The Dial A Ride program, funded by Larimer County, will continue to make trips between the two cities two days a week until a regular bus service is established.
Plans for the Loveland-Fort Collins connection is part of a four-phase project that Loveland residents indicated in a public-transportation survey last year would help them the most. The second phase would launch a fixed-route bus service along major thoroughfares in Loveland.
“This is a community service,” Gathmann said. “It will reduce neither [polluted] air nor single-occupancy vehicles. It’s like bike trails or a museum.
“It’s essential to a small segment of the population,” he added. “At our most optimistic guess, it would carry 200,000 riders a year. Now, there’s almost 400,000 car trips made in Loveland a day.”
Still, residents indicated that they would benefit from the system. Net cost for the second phase is $366,800, Sharfarz said. Gathmann would like to get Loveland businesses involved in a city bus service, perhaps having some sponsored routes that would enable their employees to take the bus to stops near work.
The third and fourth phases of the plan would expand the fixed-route system in Loveland. Their net costs would be $443,300 and $503,100 respectively. The entire proposal for a fixed-route bus system in Loveland is part of a countywide Transit Development Plan that will be reviewed by Fort Collins this month and by Loveland and the county in February.

LOVELAND – The days of steering through rush-hour traffic between Loveland and Fort Collins could come to a halt for commuters who opt for a recommended bus service planned to start next year.
“The connection between Loveland and Fort Collins is likely to happen in 1997,´ said Tom Gathmann, city engineer for Loveland. “We’re optimisticat a staff level that we [the cities and county] could share the cost.”
Implementation of any plan is contingent on approval from the city councils involved. The net cost for the one route would be about $269,300 annually, according to David Sharfarz, of Transportation and…

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