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MAX Bus Rapid Transit Launches In Fort Collins

Grace Hood
Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat addresses the crowd at the South Transit Center.

Thousands turned out for the launch of the MAX bus line in Fort Collins May 10 — the first bus rapid transit route along the Front Range.

During an opening ceremony at the South Transit Center, City Manager Darin Atteberry said the $87 million project will provide key transpiration alternatives as the city of 150,000 continues to grow.

“Sustainability to Fort Collins, we talk about the triple bottom line. That’s the economic health of the community, the environmental health and the social health,” he said. “If there’s a quintessential demonstration of social, environmental and economic it’s this project right here.”

The Fort Collins MAX fleet consists of six, 60-foot articulated busses that run on compressed natural gas. The city built 12 stations along the Mason Street corridor and a new South Transit Center.


Mark Jackson, deputy director of planning, development and transportation for Fort Collins said the MAX project is the largest capital project in the history of the city. He said another key component to the bus line is spurring development along the Mason corridor.

“We always thought that the economic development would follow the bus rapid transit—that once we build it, it will come,” he said. “But what we’re finding is that the development is in front of bus rapid transit. The corridor is beating us to the punch.”

Case in point is the Summit on College, a large housing development for Colorado State University students that recently opened.

The route will be free to ride throughout the summer until August 24. After that point it will cost $1.25. City officials are stressing that the bus route will change as the corridor changes.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Denise White, a public relations coordinator with the city. “It’s a legacy project that we’re looking at having in Fort Collins for the next 20, 50 100 years hopefully.”

Curious what day one looked like on the MAX? You can take a virtual first ride on Fort Collins' new MAX Bus System right here.

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