Link between Cheyenne and Northern Colorado among public transit proposals in Mountain West
There’s been talk of expanding public transportation options around the Mountain West, and some of those ideas are starting to be set in motion.
Transportation officials in Colorado and Wyoming are collaborating on a mass transit feasibility study as they consider adding a new bus route between Cheyenne, Wyo., and the northern Front Range in Colorado. About 7,000 vehicle trips begin and end in those areas every day.
“That's a lot of vehicles,” said Amber Blake, director of the Colorado Department of Transportation's Division of Transit and Rail. “And that number is going to continue to grow.”
They're using a newly launched website – a so-called "self-guided online meeting" that's accessible through Oct. 17 – to solicit public feedback on six potential alignments for the route. The options weigh how best to link Cheyenne with Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley and include pros and cons of each route.
The states' transportation officials will use the community input to inform a draft proposal, which they hope to complete by the end of the year. If a bus route proves to be popular, Blake said, the states might eventually consider rail service. In any case, she said one of the main goals of the project is to increase accessibility.
“Colorado provides more rural transit trips than any other state in the nation,” Blake said. “The key to ensuring that transit is a viable option for commuting and longer-haul trips is that connectivity piece… You need to be able to access the medical facilities, education facilities, social and recreational activities.”
Meanwhile, officials in Idaho, Nevada and Utah signed a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in September to express their interest in a new rail service to better connect Salt Lake City with Boise and Las Vegas.
Amtrak also recently mapped possible extensions to its rail system that includes lines between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colo. and between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.