Mountain Metro, UCCS reach agreement on campus bus service

Feb. 29, 2016

Jonathan Toman
jtoman@uccs.edu

Mountain Metropolitan Transit and UCCS have come to an agreement regarding the city bus service’s coverage of the campus.

The arrangement comes after Mountain Metro held a meeting on campus Jan. 21 that proposed ceasing bus service to main campus. A group of around 30 students, faculty and staff attended the meeting, with all those who spoke expressing their disagreement with the proposal.

Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation, characterized the Jan. 21 meeting as the most heavily attended as well as the most vocal of the five meetings Mountain Metro held throughout Colorado Springs to get feedback on the proposed plan.

“Metro was set on a plan, and I think they felt they wouldn’t get much resistance,” Spice said.

That feedback impacted the discussions that followed, Spice said, and the following changes were made.

Highlights of the agreement include:

• No changes will be made to campus bus service until May 1

• On May 1, the campus bus stop for route 39 will move away from main campus and will be located at Eagle Rock Road.

• Also on May 1, the campus bus stop for route 9 will move temporarily to Austin Bluffs Parkway. This change will be in place until mid-September.

• Over the summer, UCCS will construct a new bus stop outside the University Center, in addition to making the roadway in front of the UC one-way, taking away a maximum of eight parking spots. The new stop will go into use starting Sept. 18, and will house route 9.

Senior Spanish major Sara Bonner attended the Jan. 21 meeting, and explained her response to the agreement via email.

“Honestly, I’m glad the busses are going to campus at all, but this seems to me like this issue still has a long way to go,” Bonner said. “There is a lot of potential to grow bus usage at UCCS, and as a campus dedicated to sustainability and the well-being of its students, we still have work to do on this issue.”

Bonner highlighted the cost of parking passes, the opportunity to access downtown and the goal of increased campus sustainability as reasons to continue to educate students about the opportunities of the bus system.

“I understand where (Mountain Metro) is coming from,” Bonner said. “They don’t know our campus culture or the potential that’s here, so of course from their side it’s a nuisance. It’s our responsibility as to help our fellow students see the value they can get from taking the bus.”

Spice warned that construction of the new stop and the one-way road will create some issues for students on campus over the summer.

“Summer is going to be kind of a mess,” Spice said.