After more than a dozen years working to secure grant money for a free shuttle service, Downtown Partnership has launched an environmentally friendly bus line downtown.
But, with low ridership and some confusion over different-colored buses, sponsors are still working out the kinks.
The five buses, purchased with $1.8 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program dollars, began running July 6. They are being promoted as a way to tame traffic, alleviate parking woes and make downtown's air a little more breathable.
The shuttles run a 1.7-mile north-south route Monday through Saturday along Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street between Cache La Poudre Street and Moreno Avenue.
However, the distinctive green-and-yellow checkered shuttles aren't all green and yellow. Earlier this week, white buses that look nothing like the shuttles greeted many passengers, causing some people problems, said Beth Kosley, executive director of the Downtown Partnership.
"Right now, some people watching for the shuttle are letting the white ones go by," she said. Stickers identifying the free shuttles will soon be added to the white buses in an attempt to make them easier to identify.
Ryan Hiatt, assistant general manager for Springs Transit, said an average of only five to seven people are currently riding the buses -- which have a total capacity of 22 seated or 35 standing.
Kosley said she hopes that number will increase as people become more familiar with the program.
The buses run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Monday through Thursday. They run from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The shuttle comes every 10 minutes at peak times, such as lunch rush, and every 20 to 30 minutes at non-peak times.
-- Michael de Yoanna
For more information about the free downtown shuttle, call Downtown Partnership at 886-0088.