With Saturday’s downtown City Market closure likely to affect a number of citizens in the downtown area who have no, or limited transportation, Archuleta County’s Mountain Express bus system will expand its schedule beginning Monday.
In a collaborative effort between the Archuleta County Transportation Department, the Board of County Commissioners, some local churches and support from the Town of Pagosa Springs, the bus system is expanding its route to include additional runs dedicated solely to grocery shoppers.
Called the “Uptown Grocery Run,” Mountain Express will begin the expanded service Monday, Sept. 13, with one additional daily run. Mountain Express will operate this additional run Monday through Saturday.
The bus will leave the parking lot of the downtown City Market site at 10 a.m. and will arrive at the uptown City Market at 10:15. The bus will drop off and pick up patrons at the front door of the uptown City Market.
The bus will remain in the area for approximately one hour, then depart the uptown City Market at 11:15, returning to the downtown City Market parking lot at 11:30. All times are approximate and the routes will be continuously evaluated for improvement.
The Uptown Grocery Run is being created as a result of the generosity of several area churches and community leaders. There is no charge for this new service.
Fare for the bus for regular runs is $1.
“Meeting the transportation needs from downtown to uptown is a ‘band-aid’ to provide the residents of Archuleta County with access to food. We will try to meet the needs of the community and do the best with what we have,” said Pastor Don Ford of the Community United Methodist Church.
In announcing the additional runs at Tuesday BoCC meeting, Transportation Director John Egan said the run will continue for an undetermined amount of time.
Ford said those looking to support the grocery run, estimated to cost $500 per month, can donate to the Methodist Church and specify the grocery run, or make a donation to the Pagosa Outreach Connection.
“This is a case of people within the community helping people within the community,” Ford said at the meeting.
For more information, check the Archuleta County website at www.archuletacounty.org or call 264-2250.
Randi Pierce contributed to this article.