GVT rides free from 7 to 10 p.m. now until Sept. 1
Patrons can ride Grand Valley Transit buses for free between 7 and 10:15 p.m. now through Sept. 1.
Eight of the transit system’s 11 bus routes began offering bus service after 7:15 p.m. on March 12. Mesa County spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said roughly 200 to 250 people per day have taken advantage of service after 7 p.m..
On average, 3,500 to 4,000 people ride GVT buses each day. Transit officials expected evening service to only attract a fraction of each day’s passengers, Peterson said.
“They weren’t necessarily expecting peak ridership in the evening. But they did hear a lot of people asking for this,” she said.
Peterson said later hours are often requested by passengers who begin or end work later in the day or who want to attend evening functions. She said GVT decided to offer free rides in July and August to raise awareness of extended hours during a season when many evening activities such as farmer’s markets and festivals are going on while it’s light outside.
Later hours are available on Routes 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Route 1 from downtown to Horizon Drive, Route 2 along Patterson Road and Route 6 on Orchard Mesa end service at 7:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“Doing the free rides is really to make sure, number one, people are aware of extended hours and, number two, they can give it a try,” Peterson said. “As more people get familiar with how the later routes are available, hopefully they’ll use it more.”
More frequent pick-up times and later service hours are two of the most popular requests from frequent GVT passengers, according to Peterson. Buses on Route 9, which runs along North Avenue and is the busiest GVT bus route, now offer service every half-hour instead of the typical one-hour wait between 7:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Visit gvt.mesacounty.us for routes, maps and other information.