Fort Collins – Loveland – Greeley Bus Service Resumes (sort of)

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20121106/BUSINESS/311060020/Medical-van-connects-riders-appointments-Fort-Collins-Loveland-Greeley

<blockquote>A new service sponsored by University of Colorado Health and Columbine Health Systems will provide free transportation to medical appointments at UC Health’s facilities in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley.

The Connecting Health van, which began running routes on Monday, will take riders from any UC Health facility to another — Poudre Valley Hospital, UCH’s Harmony Campus, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and Greeley Medical Clinic — and back again. <blockquote>

A few years ago, with a federal grant Loveland and Greeley set up the 34-Express bus route. The 34 Express traveled from the west side of I-25 and US-34, north and around along Crossroads, east on US 34, before winding through west Greeley neighborhoods and terminating at the Greeley Mall. As a result of the indirect, inconvenient route the bus followed, ridership only averaged about 2-3 people per trip; well short of the 15-20 standard commonly accepted as the minimum. The end result was that the route was discontinued when the federal funding ran out, leaving people with no transit option for Loveland to Greeley trips. 

While the service is free, and meant to connect people to different doctors’ offices thought the region, it is open to the general public regardless of trip type. Stops are located at Poudre Valley Hospital, both the Lemay and Harmony campuses, Medical Center of the Rockies, and two Greeley hospitals. 

Buses operate Monday-Friday approximately every every three hours, with three trips between 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM. A fourth trip operates just between Fort Collins and Loveland after 4:00 PM. More information is available <a href=”http://pvhs.org/van”>here</a&gt;. 

With additional improvement, this service goes to show that private companies can help fulfill the needs of our woefully inadequate transit system. With additional financial assistance from local governments, my hope is that service could perhaps be improved to hourly or better, and hours extended later into the afternoon and evening. Having the bus take a direct route east on US 34 will most likely produce more riders than the gerrymandered route of the old 34 Express. 

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