The Max is Fort Collins Bus Rapid Transit aka BRT. For those of you who may have lived only in Fort Collins, I can tell you that a city this size is very, very fortunate to have a BRT line. It’s not common. It’s extremely expensive to develop BRT lines and difficult to fund them. So the fact that Fort Collins has a BRT line tells me that some key decision makers have their heads screwed on straight!
This service is a vital companion for those who are car-free and especially, bike commuters. As can seen in this video, it’s easy to use, comes every ten (10) minutes during peak travel times, and is available to ride early in the morning till late at night every day ~ except for Sunday.
Why do I love the MAX so much? Here are a few reasons:
- It’s affordable – An annual pass to ride Transfort busses, including the Max is cheap
- Thermoregulation – It’s warm in the winter, cool in the summer and dry when raining so makes for a comfortable ride and temporary refuge from inclement weather for bike riders
- Good people watching ~ the riders are from a wide spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds, professions or lack thereof, races and ethnicities.
- Quickest way to get north/south from one end of Fort Collins to the other
- Free wi-fi on board
- Many stops – The MAX has stops every 1/4 to every 1/2 mile which I’ve never counted but it’s at least 20
- Four bike racks inside
I have no gripes about the MAX but I do have wishes for improvements and enhancements to this service.
- Four bike racks inside – for as many people that bike and use the MAX, there should be more bike racks if not on the inside, some on the outside. If a MAX bus has all of the bike racks full a bike rider can not bring their bike on and has to wait for the next MAX.
- East/West – No BRT for going through town the other direction. I know, this would probably cost millions and millions of dollars to study (I’m sure has already happened), plan, develop, and fund…. not likely this will happen.
- Sunday service – I know, it’s a money thing and the study of ridership on Sunday likely killed the decision to have this BRT run 7 days a week BUT for those of us who work every other day of the week except for Sunday, it’s an important errand day and sure would be nice if the MAX was in service.
Overall, I highly recommend riding the MAX. If you’re going to Old Town on the weekends and think you’re going to find parking easily, forget it and take the MAX. Want to drink yourself under a table, don’t drink and drive ~ take the MAX and walk the rest of the way home. Try it at least once! It’s fast, cheap and easy and we’re luck to have one of these here in Fort Collins!