Durango-Grand Junction bus service to start July 15

Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

Southern Ute Community Action Programs, Inc. (SUCAP) is announcing the restoration of Durango-Grand Junction ground transportation beginning Tuesday, July 15. Service will be by motorcoach, seven days per week, 365 days per year, and will operate under the name (dba) of Road Runner Stage Lines.

The route will leave Durango at 7 a.m. and travel via Durango, Mancos, Cortez, Dolores, Rico, Telluride, Placerville, Ridgway Montrose, Delta, arriving in Grand Junction at 12:38 p.m. The return trip will leave Grand Junction at 1:45 p.m, arriving back in Durango at 7:47 p.m.

The one-way fare Durango-Grand Junction is $40. Here is a fare schedule.

The coach is equipped with a wheelchair lift. The service welcomes riders who have disabilities, who are encouraged to communicate their needs to drivers.

This restores inter-city bus service discontinued by Greyhound in September, 2011. Greyhound continues to operate bus service connecting Grand Junction with Denver, Las Vegas-Los Angeles, and the rest of the national Greyhound system.

Shortly after the Greyhound announcement, SUCAP contacted CDOT to explore ways to restore the Colorado portion of the route. With the approval of the SUCAP Board of Directors, SUCAP submitted an application to CDOT in June, 2012 and received a notice of grant award in September. However, complications in funding to purchase the two vehicles required to operate the service (rotating service and maintenance) have delayed startup from the original target date of May, 2013 to July 15, 2014.

Sidny Zink, Transportation Commissioner for CDOT Region 5 said, “This is such a great example of parties coming together to meet a need, where one party could not do it alone. It took time and tenacity to make it happen, but it did, the SUCAP team.” 

Clayton Richter, director of SUCAP’s Road Runner Transportation program division, reported, “We have been getting calls for over a year asking when this service will hit the road. We are very happy to be starting service July 15 with experienced drivers. We would like to thank the City of Durango for entering into a lease with SUCAP so that riders can access the service at the Durango Transit Center.”

Peter Tregillus, SUCAP’s Program Developer said, “SUCAP is very pleased with the partnership with CDOT and Greyhound, resulting in an affordable transportation alternative for parts of rural Colorado. Not everyone can afford to fly in today’s economy, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to fly.”

Funding to operate the route come from fares, with 12-month operational deficits up to $245,000 covered with Federal Transit Administration Section 5311-f funds managed by the CDOT Division of Transit and Rail. SUCAP does not anticipate an operational deficit that high since it will be operating only part of the year in 2014. Funding to purchase the two coaches comes from FTA 5311-f funds and State of Colorado FASTER funds.

To start, riders may purchase tickets from the driver in cash (exact amount, no change will be carried by the driver), or with a credit or debit card. In a few weeks (but not right now), passengers traveling within the Durango-Grand Junction route segment will be able to purchase tickets online at www.roadrunnerstagelines.com. Right now, however, basic information on fares and schedules may be found at www.sucap.org.

Passengers traveling within the Greyhound system will be able to purchase tickets to Denver or any other Greyhound destination online at www.greyhound.com starting July 15. Passengers traveling to southwest Colorado destinations served by Road Runner Stage Lines from departure points across the country may also purchase tickets online at www.greyhound.com.

The route is a collaborative partnership between SUCAP, CDOT and Greyhound. The service will be “inter-lined” with the Greyhound system. That means that riders anywhere in the Greyhound system will be able to purchase tickets online at www.greyhound.com. Southwest Colorado destinations are set to go “live” July 15, but riders are cautioned to be prepared to pay the driver while the service gets experience with ticket purchase systems.

Road Runner Stage Lines is operated by the Road Runner Transportation program division of Southern Ute Community Action Programs, Inc. (SUCAP). SUCAP was established in 1966 by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and its non-tribal neighbors in Ignacio, CO to meet community needs. 

SUCAP is not a part of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, but serves as its delegate agency in operating programs for the Tribe. SUCAP also operates other programs independent of the Tribe. All SUCAP programs and services are available to persons without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. SUCAP now operates programs through six program divisions:

• Southern Ute Montessori Head Start and Early Head Start (child and family development)

• The Training Advantage (the job training partner in Colorado Workforce Centers serving 17 counties)

• Peaceful Spirit (residential and outpatient alcohol and substance treatment)

• The Ignacio Senior Center (nutrition and special transportation services for persons with disabilities and the elderly)

• SUCAP Youth Services (positive youth development, youth substance use prevention, and after-school)

• Road Runner Transportation (scheduled service on three routes: Ignacio-Durango, Ignacio-Aztec, NM, Bayfield-Durango; Ignacio Area Dial-a-Ride service)

For more information, contact Peter Tregillus at the SUCAP offices 970-403-0614, or email at ptregillus@sucap.org.

Road-Runner-Stage-Lines-Schedule

Road-Runner-Stage-Lines-Fares

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