April 30, 2005
Plenty of travelers to Denver are skipping high gas prices and behind-the-wheel frustration in favor of the Front-Range Express, or FREX, a bus service between Fountain and the big city up north.
Springs Transit General Manager Larry Tenenholz said about 420 riders take FREX each day. Many are asking for more trips, earlier and later departures, and weekend service, he said. Jai Urbain and Amy Pinkston took the bus from the Nevada-Tejon parkand-ride Friday. They’re students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and take FREX to visit family in the Denver area. Without the bus, they would rely on others for a ride. “It’s nice to just be able to know you can go whenever you want instead of inconvenience somebody to take you,” Pinkston said. Tenenholz said FrontRange Express is doing all it can on its budget of $5 million for the first three years, so major changes are unlikely for now. A one-way ticket from Fountain or Colorado Springs to Denver costs $6. Commuters who shell out $180 for a 40-ticket pass can cut the cost to $4.50 each way. Buses leave as early as 4:40 a.m. from Fountain and return as late as 7:23 p.m. from downtown Denver. Schedules and other details are at www.frontrangeexpress. com or 636-3739. OUR TEST RIDE — We caught the bus this month at the park-and-ride near Woodmen Road. The bus got there 15 minutes late, but despite heavy traffic we arrived 10 minutes early in downtown Denver. The bus departed 10 to 15 minutes late again on the return trip, and it was so packed by the time we left downtown Denver that some passengers couldn’t get on. The driver said he would alert dispatchers that passengers were waiting. The FrontRange Express returned to Colorado Springs about 30 minutes late, thanks to traffic jams on the interstate. WEB SITE OF THE WEEK: www.renew-app.state.co.us. Many people can renew a driver’s license by mail. Don’t expect simplicity from the state government, but this site will help figure out if you’re among the lucky ones. DRIVING EAST TO WEST: DREAM ON Here is a secret to getting from east to west in Colorado Springs, shared by reader Donna Ross after last week’s column. “As much as I hate to give up my favorite route secrets, I would travel Powers to Constitution to Paseo to Fontanero to Cascade to Uintah to 21st Street to Pikes Peak,” Ross wrote. “Besides being a very pretty drive through town, it’s pretty well regulated by traffic lights on the main roads, with fewer lights and stops in the neighborhoods.” It sounds good, although if everybody took that route, it would become just as clogged as all the others. On second thought, perhaps the best recommendation came from reader Katherine Lane: “The quickest, fastest and easiest way to get from east to west in this city is to dream about it.” Have a question or comment about getting around the Pikes Peak region? Send it to Perry Swanson, email@example.com, or call 476-4878.