The I-70 Coalition says gas price increases are making public transit the most affordable option to and from Front Range

A Summit Stage bus stops on Main Street in Frisco on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. The I-70 coalition is pushing more passengers to take advantage of regional transportation options like the Bustang and Pegasus and local transportation options such as the Summit Stage as gasoline prices continue to rise.
Grace Coomaraswamy/For the Summit Daily News

As gasoline prices continue to climb at above-average rates, a regional organization is pushing drivers to carpool and take advantage of other modes of transportation instead of driving their own cars to save money. the money.

The I-70 Coalition, a nonprofit organization representing 28 local governments and businesses along Colorado’s mountainous Interstate 70 corridor, recently issued a press release about how current gasoline prices are comparable to the cost of taking public transport. In some cases, public transport may even be cheaper.

The statement noted that the cost of a Bustang West Line ticket is currently more affordable than the round trip along the mountains in a personal vehicle. Operated by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the service’s western line stops at Frisco and Vail, as well as Glenwood Springs, Parachute, Rifle, Grand Junction, Idaho Springs and Denver Union Station.



According to the AAA Colorado website, the average cost of gas in Colorado is $3.95 per gallon. The I-70 Coalition calculated that a round trip to Vail from Front Range would cost about $38 for a single driver with a 26-gallon gas tank — the same size as Ford’s F-150, which was identified as the most popular in Colorado. vehicle in a recent data analysis. Currently, a Bustang ticket for the same route is cheaper as it costs $34.

Choosing to ride the Bustang is even more economical when you factor in the cost of gasoline purchased in Summit County. According to the AAA Colorado website, the average price of a gallon of gas purchased in the county is $4.13.



Margaret Bowes, director of the I-70 Coalition, said Front Range visitors wanting to spend a few extra days at Vail Ski Resort or Breckenridge Ski Resort will find even greater savings. Both stations close in May.

“Vail parking is about $35 a day. The Bustang drops you off at the same car park, so you save parking fees. And you’re in a place where you can walk to the tracks and walk to the village,” Bowes said.

The same can be said for Breckenridge Ski Resort. After the Bustang stops at the Frisco Transit Center, passengers can take the free Summit Stage service to Breck Station, which also saves additional parking fees.

Other modes of transportation to and from Front Range include the many county-based shuttle operators, such as Summit Express. Owner Bob Roppel said the majority of his Silverthorne-based business drives customers to and from Denver International Airport.

Roppel said many travelers weigh whether or not using a service like his against renting a car. During the winter months, he said visitors generally don’t need a personal vehicle if they plan to stay in one area of ​​the county for most of their stay. Even summer vacations are starting to be more feasible without a car.

“In spring or summer, (visitors) can have other activities they want to do. They want to ride a bike, they want to get in the car and see Mount Evans, they want to hike a 14er like Quandary (Peak),” Roppel said. “Until recently they needed a car to do most of these things.”

Those looking for a more luxurious experience are also in luck. Stage Coach Luxury Limousine has been based in Summit County for over 30 years, and although the prices are higher, the service takes customers wherever they need to go during their stay in Summit County. Owner Raoul Pietri said that doesn’t just include the airport, but also grocery stores, liquor stores and restaurants.

Bowes said that in general, the more drivers can carpool using I-70, the better. Since this particular road provides direct access to many mountain communities, it is very busy, which can make it difficult to access these communities.

As gas prices are expected to remain high over the coming summer months, Bowes said she encourages riders to visit the I-70 Coalition website for a full list of transit options on I70Solutions.org..

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