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CDOT Open House Talks Express Bus Service, I-25 Managed Lanes

Grace Hood

CDOT held an open house to discuss the forthcoming changes for commuters living north of Denver. Those changes include an express bus between Fort Collins and Denver, as well as a third managed lane between Thornton and Lafayette.

The largest project on the books is expected to begin construction in 2015 between 120th Avenue and Colorado Highway 7. CDOT will build an additional tolled express lane open to buses and carpools. The third lane will also open to cars with single or double occupancies if they're willing to pay the toll.

Myron Hora, a planning and environmental manager for CDOT region 4, said CDOT has planned $110 million in improvements, but so far has only secured $55 million in funding.

"So we'll end up with narrower shoulders and narrower buffer between the managed lane and the general purpose lane," said Hora. "By doing that, we'll get some improvements sooner with the amount of money we have."

Ultimately the lane is expected to go all the way from Denver to Fort Collins, a project that could take decades and will be completed in segments. CDOT is also looking at expanding the Crossroads Boulevard overpass, a project that's expected to cost $35 million. They expect final funding approval soon from the Transportation Commission.

Credit Grace Hood / KUNC

Express bus service will launch between Fort Collins and Denver in March 2015, with a tentative schedule expected to be available by December 2014. There will be five round trips per weekday with stops at the Harmony Road Transportation Center, US 34/I-25, and Denver Union Station.

Michael Timlin, bus operations manager with CDOT, expects small ridership of 100-150 passengers per day to start.

"But we may find that it's more than that. We have the capability to add additional service with the fleet that we have," he said.

Tickets between Fort Collins and Denver will cost $10, but discounts will be available to those who purchase in bulk. The buses will have Wi-Fi, and will be run by a private company.

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