DEAR EDITOR:

I was glad to see the article about Bustang in The Watch. Except for one-and-a-half years away, I've lived without a car in the Telluride region from Feb. 4, 2004, to now. I never felt "sunk."

I was grateful when Greyhound established the route from Durango to Grand Junction some years back in the early 2000s. It didn't make financial sense, so they dropped it.

The route, perceived as a crucial need to members of the Southern Ute Tribe, particularly in terms of access to health care resources not available in the Ignacio/Durango area, was revived as an extension of their regional Roadrunner Stage lines. It was operated by the Southern Ute Community Action Programs Inc., in partnership with Greyhound Lines, CDOT and the FTA. 

Members of the tribe, and others, were hired as drivers. One particularly engaging driver was a retired employee of what is now Colorado Parks and Wildlife and a resident of Cortez. He would give riders a scenic and historic travelogue as he drove. When we made the turn to Telluride, he was short on info, so I told him a bit of local history.

I rode the bus when I needed to get to Montrose, Grand Junction, or points east and west with their Greyhound Connect. Early in the day, it was sad to see only three to nine passengers in the bus. I got excited when there were 12 one day. Occasionally, the used buses would break down. 

So I'm especially glad to see and ride CDOT's new, brightly colored Bustang. I don't use it often, but it beats the expense of owning or renting a car, not to mention the time spent looking for parking places. And I'm using a vehicle that is going "there" regardless of whether I ride it or not, rather than adding to traffic congestion by cars and exhaust particle congestion contributed by their carbon-loaded exhaust.

Thank you, CDOT!

Pam Pettee

Telluride