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Dash ridership up and delivering  CMU students Downtown

Record ridership bodes well for the future of community connectivity

Since launching the Dash, Grand Valley Transit announced nearly 10,000 rides have occurred over the last nine months. The Dash, which runs along Route 1, is a free bus service offered Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4:15pm to midnight. The Dash is a transportation partnership between Colorado Mesa University, Downtown Grand Junction, Grand Valley Transit, The City of Grand Junction, the Horizon Drive Business Improvement District and the Grand Junction Regional Airport. Dash ridership numbers reveal the partnership effort resulted in monthly ridership ranging from 360 in March, when the Dash was launched, to 2052 riders in May. According to Dash drivers, the majority of riders between 7pm and midnight are CMU students.

 

“Our drivers tell us that the majority of evening riders are students and that interacting with them and seeing them learn about the community is rewarding and makes the Dash among their favorite GVT service lines,” said GVT Mobility Manager Sarah Brooks. “We’re off to a good start with CMU and are looking to boost student ridership again in 2020.”

 

CMU student life staff agree.img_20191026_092712933_hdr.jpg

 

“I was pleased to learn students are making use of the Dash and are exploring the community,” said Shanae Mundee, CMU Director of Student Life. “The more students that visit Downtown Grand Junction and Horizon Drive the more they support local business and create long-term connection to the Grand Valley. The Dash is a way to enrich student life while supporting the local community and economy.”

 

Mundee works with Grand Valley transit to make students aware of the route’s availability. In June 2019 Mundee organized an event with Downtown Grand Junction and CMU partners Tacoparty, Carlson Vineyards, 437CO and Kannah Creek and Brewing Company. Together, they provided students the opportunity to experience Downtown Grand Junction while learning about the Dash. The event pushed ridership to the highest levels as students completed the downtown Taco Trifecta. Each student who visited CMU’s Downtown Grand Junction partners received a complementary culinary taco named after CMU.

 

Josh Niernberg is chef and owner of Tacoparty and was pleased by the effort and excited about news of healthy Dash ridership numbers.

 

“We had a blast serving the students and we were excited to see them learn that there is a free, convenient and safe way for them to get from CMU to Downtown and back,” said Niernberg. “We are looking forward to exploring more ways that downtown merchants can support students in the future.”

 

Grand Valley transit encourages Grand Valley residents who live near the route to review the map and hours of operation to explore the possibility that the Dash might also benefit to them in the same way the route benefits CMU. The Dash is free for everyone, but CMU students enrolled in six credit hours or more can ride all GVT routes for free with a student bus pass, available at the University Center info desk. Students must show their MAV Card to recieve their pass.  

 

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Written by David Ludlam