The Pueblo City Council on Monday (August 25) voted unanimously to approve an intergovernmental agreement under which Colorado State University-Pueblo will fund new bus service for students living in the off-campus residence halls. As a result of this agreement, a specific CSU-Pueblo circulator route will be established and University students, faculty, and staff will be able to ride at no charge.
According to Vice President for Finance and Administration Joanne Ballard, the University began discussions with Pueblo Director of Public Works Dan Centa and Pueblo Transit Operations Supervisor Pat Manzanares in early August to brainstorm a solution to the transport of the 200+ students who are living in two off-campus residence halls at the Clarion Motel, 4001 North Elizabeth, and Quality Inns and Suites, 3910 Outlook Blvd.
Ballard said the resulting agreement goes beyond addressing the immediate need for transportation for students at the off-site residence halls and contributes positively to the University’s continued efforts to be environmentally friendly. The no charge bus service provides a transportation alternative to students and staff who can benefit from the cost savings derived from leaving their vehicles at home and taking the bus to work and school. By providing a way for students and staff to utilize public transportation rather than driving their personal vehicles to campus, the University is adding to its reputation as an advocate of renewable and sustainable energy. Additionally, the no charge bus service for students, faculty, and staff will help ease any on-campus parking crunch that might result from enrollment of the largest freshman class in the University’s history and an overall student enrollment growth of more than 10 percent.
“Connecting the CSU-Pueblo students with the Pueblo community has long been a shared goal of the University and the City. We are pleased that the City was willing to work with us to find a win-win solution to our immediate problem and to extend that solution to all CSU-Pueblo students and employees,” said Vice President Ballard. “The opportunity to provide an environmentally sustainable transportation alternative to the campus community is particularly exciting and is totally in line with other recent efforts we have undertaken, like the new solar array project and constructing “green” building. This partnership is yet another example of positive interaction between the University and the City in support of our shared commitment to make both of us better.”
Per the agreement, Pueblo City Transit will run a bus on a 30-minute route Monday through Friday during the peak hours of 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. between the University and the two off---
campus sites, the Clarion Hotel and the Quality Inn. From 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the bus will run a 60-minute route that extends the peak route from the University and the Clarion and Quality Inn to various shopping areas in the north part of town, including the Pueblo Mall, Big Lots, the Eagleridge Shopping Center/Walmart on Dillon Drive, and the Pueblo Crossings Shopping Center. Besides serving the students living in the off-campus residence halls, this extended shopping circulator will provide students living on campus in Belmont Residence Hall an opportunity to get off campus for shopping and entertainment.
Because CSU-Pueblo is paying the City for running this route, there will be no charge for University students and employees. Ridership will be available to the public for the normal fare, and this revenue will be kept by the City of Pueblo in exchange for no charge transportation on any transit bus route at any time for anyone with CSU-Pueblo student or employee identification. The University is using housing, parking, and student fee revenue to fund the cost of this new route.
An evening route and a Sunday route will be developed by the University and managed by University parking services through use of student employees driving currently leased state vehicles. The evening and Sunday schedules are still being finalized.
At the end of the first few weeks of usage, the University will solicit feedback from students about the times and routes to determine if they need to be adjusted.
For both the City Transit routes, the busses will stop at the current bus stop near the Buell Communications Center and again in front of the Belmont Residence Hall on the northwest corner of the CSU-Pueblo campus. The two existing City Transit routes that service the campus will continue and not be changed by this arrangement, though University students and employees will be able to ride them at no charge if they show a CSU-Pueblo ID. Map [image]
Schedule [.xls file]