Bus routes expanding to French Creek Dec. 8 | SummitDaily.com

Bus routes expanding to French Creek Dec. 8

BRECKENRIDGE – French Creek will be the newest addition to the Summit Stage bus routes this winter, enabling residents in that area to take free, public transportation to an in-town hub from which they can access the rest of the county.

The route changes begin Dec. 8.

According to Summit Stage officials, mini-bus hourly service will begin at stops in French Creek, Kensington Place, Vista Point, the Wellington Neighborhood, the Breckenridge Recreation Center, South Branch Library, City Market and Breckenridge Station – the hub at F-Lot on South Park Avenue.

The Stage’s Boreas Pass Route will no longer travel on French Street, and those needing service along that road are asked to use the town’s Free Ride Route 1, or Blue Route, bus.

Breckenridge Free Ride buses also will operate every 30 minutes between Warrior’s Mark, Breckenridge Station and Beaver Run Resort. The Summit Stage won’t operate the Warrior’s Mark service any longer, and those who need to take the bus should take the town’s Free Ride Route 4, or Brown Route, bus.

New guidebooks are available in all buses. For bus route, stop and schedule information, call (970) 668-0999.

Summit Stage director Bill Watterson said the new service is possible because of coordination between the Summit Stage and the Breckenridge Free Ride Transit system.

“It’s been a win-win situation for the town and county and certainly for the guests of both our transit systems,” said Breckenridge Free Ride director Jim Benkelman.

The Stage provides free transportation 365 days a year. From 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Stage buses serve stops every 30 minutes between Frisco and Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Silverthorne.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and lasting until 1:30 a.m., Stage buses serve stops every hour. Late-night service began in March after voters increased the mass transit sales tax in 2001 from half a penny to three-quarters of a penny.

“We know that many employees who work late-night hours need the Stage to get to and from work. We also know that residents, skiers and other Summit County visitors need a safe and convenient way to get to ski resorts, restaurants, nightlife and shopping,” said Cleve Keller, chair of the Summit Stage Transit Advisory Board. “We’re pleased to begin the ski season offering the most frequent, convenient and lengthy service day in the history of the Summit Stage.”

The Summit Stage also has added 10 new, large buses.

Watterson said a common request from guests is for comfortable buses. The new buses allow eight old buses to be retired.

In addition, the Stage bought seven new mini-buses for use on some neighborhood routes and for nearly all routes late at night when demand for service is lower.

“I’m excited to offer our guests new equipment that is clean and comfortable,” Watterson said. “With the 17 new buses we’ve added in 2002, the Stage will be operating 29 vehicles that are less than three years old. I encourage everyone in Summit County to take a ride on the Stage to see how comfortable and easy it is to get where you want to go in Summit County by riding the Summit Stage,” Watterson said.

In Silverthorne, the Stage is working with the town to build a new Silverthorne Transit Station at the site formerly occupied by Colorado Mountain College at Fourth and Adams.

The new station increases space for passenger waiting and bus queuing. The first phase should be finished this winter. A second phase of the project involves construction of a new park-and-ride lot and more improvements to the station.

“We’re grateful to the town of Silverthorne and the Colorado Department of Transportation for providing the funds to develop this new facility,” Watterson said.

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