A New Approach
In 2011, the City of Colorado Springs spent $1,845,152 to run the Front Range Express, and the fare revenues brought in only $700,000 (source: TST FREX Summary). This left the citizens of Colorado Springs with a $1,145,152 bill for 2011. So how can we make $1.15 million disappear and turn this system into a profitable company? Our model uses a common-sense three-pronged approach:
- Fewer Trips. The current service runs 16 round trips up to Denver and back, totaling 32 trips. Some of these buses can have as little as 1 or 2 people on them, which is highly inefficient. Our plan consolidates bus trips and focuses on providing service during peak times.
- Larger Buses. Currently, FREX buses reach seating capacity at 41 passengers. Our model uses larger, 57-passenger buses, which allows us to to even further reduce our trips to Denver and back.
- (Slightly) Higher Fares. In order to make a highly subsidized program sustainable, we clearly need to raise fare prices, and the majority of commuters overwhelmingly agree. Our new fare structure falls within the range of what most commuters have indicated on their surveys they would be willing to pay. Fares will increase between $1 - $2.50 each way, depending on several factors.