Flexible Service / Regular Stops
In addition to a flexible reservation-based system, the Community Call-n-Ride Bus makes scheduled stops along the 25-minute loop every half hour. Three buses run at a time (a third bus was added in January 2014 due to high ridership). You can catch the bus at the regularly scheduled times at any of the following stops:
- Illinois in front of Guggenheim Quad (CSM Campus)
- 11th & Illinois
- 10th & Washington (Parfet Park)
- 12th & Ford
- 17th & Jackson (Safeway)
- 24th & Jackson (Golden High School)
- Johnson & South Golden Road
- Johnson & 6th Ave. (Light Rail Station)
The original bus route is now back in effect as of Sept 1, 2016.
2 Buses in 1
RTD’s Call-n-Ride division has two types of service, and Golden uses a hybrid of both to best serve the community. A typical Call-n-Ride program is a reservation-based service that requires passengers to call two or more hours ahead to schedule a trip, and service is generally door to door. While this type of service works for some, it has its limitations and would not have served the entire community’s needs. So in addition to offering the traditional reservation-based service, our Community Call-n-Ride offers a flexible route with bus stops (also called “checkpoints”) to provide regular service during peak hours to the most popular destinations.
This flexible route is arranged to make a loop (see map to the right) with buses arriving every 30 minutes during peak hours. This hybrid Call-n-Ride system allows the service area to broaden and cover most of Golden, but also provide more frequent and scheduled stops in the core area of town where the greatest demand is projected.
The attraction of the flexible route is that it can provide frequent and regular service, but can easily be modified to reflect how the community uses the bus. Because the buses are smaller 12-seat passenger vehicles (more people can stand) and operate in smaller geographical areas, the driver often gets to know regular passengers, their needs and can make informal arrangements, unscheduled stops and other accommodations you would expect from a more community-oriented service, just as long as the bus can make it to the next stop on time. Rather than publish a route, this service relies on designated stops with posted times. The fact that there is no fixed route gives the driver greater flexibility to provide service to passengers between stops. In addition, the bus service will end up evolving rather quickly to serve those areas and stops that receive the most demand because bus drivers are getting continual direct feedback from customers calling in to arrange rides. This means that some areas that do not have a stop may get one in the future if the demand grows.
Background on the Bus
The West Rail Line represents the first line of RTD’s FasTracks transportation plan, approved by metro Denver voters in 2004. Recognizing that light rail would be coming to Golden but stopping short of the central part of town, Golden began investigating ways to extend this transit service to serve more of the community, beginning with a Transit Feasibility Study released in 2010.
The City partnered with the Colorado School of Mines, RTD, and Jefferson County, and secured a federal Transportation Improvement Program grant for the service. The bulk of the service is funded through the large federal grant and by RTD, but the City and CSM are required to contribute some matching funds. In addition, RTD agreed to run the service out of their Call-n-Ride division, giving Golden extra flexibility to tailor the service to the community’s needs.
Prior to launching the service in late April 2013, the City conducted a community outreach effort related to the days and hours of operation for the service via the Golden Vision community forum, presentations for local community groups, and CSM student and faculty meetings. The input received indicated that the best use of limited transit dollars to serve the greatest need was to offer more frequent service Monday through Saturday, and eliminate Sunday service. As the bus is used, the schedule will be refined to better accommodate rider need. Please view the Call-n-Ride Bus Map to see the complete route.