Hello, Mountain Metro!
Springs Transit to take on new name, routes Nov. 3

       Sporting seven new buses and expanded service - including new or changed routes on the Westside starting Nov. 3 - Springs Transit is just not itself anymore.
       And, in point of fact, it's not. The regional bus agency, whose budget has doubled this year with Pikes Peak Rural Transpor- tation Authority (RTA) tax proceeds, has renamed itself Mountain Metro Transit.
       To start spreading the word, Metro officials scheduled “community open houses” at three locations this week, one of them Thursday, Sept. 22 at the West Intergenerational Cen-ter, 25 N. 20th St., from 4 to 7 p.m.
       One of the new buses will be on hand, along with Metro representatives and various materials explaining the change.
       At the open house Sept. 20 at the Meadows Park Community Center, the new/changed Westside routes were revealed.
       Of interest to many Westside bus users will be the changes to the popular Route 11, going up Colorado Avenue. Starting Nov. 3, its identity will become Route 3. The biggest change will be that this route, going west, will no longer turn at 31st Street to service the Uintah Gardens/ King Street area once an hour (as it does now as part of the 11U route). Route 3 will always continue along the avenue to Manitou Springs so that Manitou will get a bus every half-hour instead of every hour.
       The only deviation will be that, on the hour, Route 3 will also loop over to Bott/Silver Key in the Midland area, the way Route 11U does now.
       The Uintah/ King area will be served by a new Route 32, which will include the Bott Avenue/ Silver Key loop, as well as new stops going south from Bott and ending up on Eighth Street near Wal-Mart. From Bott, the route will go to 25th Street to Broadway Street to 21st Street to Rio Grande Street to Eighth.
       “In the past, we haven't served the area south of Bott,” explained Corrine Donahue of Mountain Metro. She said the new route will be available every day but Sunday.
       Also new will be an express bus between Falcon and Garden of the Gods Road, stopping at three of the road's major employers - Agilent, Intel and MCI.
       On Sunday there will be a new Route 13 between the downtown and the Holland Park area. According to Donahue, it will go north along Cascade/Nevada avenues to Garden of the Gods Road, west to Centennial Boulevard, then loop through Holland Park.
       The current everyday Holland Park route will follow the same route from downtown, but will become Route 14. Riders from Holland Park will also have the opportunity to take this bus east as far as the East Public Library, Donahue noted.
       Another major change in the new Mountain Metro route design will be nine transfer stations, meaning that many riders no longer will have to go downtown to transfer buses. None of these stations is on the Westside, however.
       The exact schedules for the new and changed routes are not yet available, but will be out before Nov. 3.
       The new bus colors bronze (two), purple (two), blue (one) and sage green (one). At a cost of about $300,000 each, they are the first new buses the agency has ever bought, pointed out Amy MacDonald of Mountain Metro. “We haven't been able to afford new buses in the past,” she said.
       Thirteen more new buses will be bought over the next two years, adding to the current fleet of 75 buses, she said. The new buses will not have specific routes, but will be mixed in with the fleet, she added.
       Features on the new buses include entry ramps that can adjust to curb heights, simplifying access for handicapped riders; and variable message screens inside the bus that will display the upcoming stop.

Westside Pioneer article