Bustang popularity continues to climb in Colorado as driver shortage intensifies | SummitDaily.com

Bustang popularity continues to climb in Colorado as driver shortage intensifies

Long-distance transit service is short a bus on each of two popular routes

John Aguilar / The Denver Post
David Mullings, of Ridgway, sits on a Bustang bus at Union Station on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 in Denver.
Rachel Woolf, Special to the Denver Post

Wayne Graham had his sights set on Vail for a day of skiing last weekend.

He decided to get there by hopping aboard the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang service for the two-hour ride from Lakewood to the mountain. Equipped with WiFi and electric outlets, the bus offered the Denver retiree a relaxing, hassle-free way to traverse the 90 miles to the fresh powder awaiting him in the high country.

But as the 7:25 a.m. bus pulled up at the Federal Center stop, the driver announced it was full. Graham and five other would-be passengers were left standing in the parking lot as the purple coach pulled away.

But as the 7:25 a.m. bus pulled up at the Federal Center stop, the driver announced it was full. Graham and five other would-be passengers were left standing in the parking lot as the purple coach pulled away.

“I was hoping to be skiing on the slopes at Vail now, but instead I am at home in Denver composing this email,” Graham wrote to staff at Bustang, an intercity bus service that has expanded rapidly across Colorado since its debut in 2015. “Please add more bus capacity!”

Adding capacity is easier said than done, said Mike Timlin, operations manager for Bustang. Like hundreds of other transit outfits across the country, Bustang is struggling to find drivers for a relatively low-paying job in an ultra-low unemployment environment where legal marijuana adds yet another barrier to recruitment.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website, click here.


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