Life at high altitudes presents various challenges, from drier air and having less oxygen to boiling water and shoveling snow. Living in the mountains provides so many nature enthusiasts with opportunities for year-round outdoor activities and serenity.
But what about those who live in the mountains and struggle with necessities such as transportation? Many resort to hitchhiking. And who can blame them? For many mountain folks, the grocery store isn’t within walking distance. It’s an entire day’s event by the time they get out of bed, walk to the road, and wait nearly two hours for someone to pick them up.
As of July 19, Via Mobility Services began offering Mountain Rides on Wednesdays and Thursdays from Ward to Rollinsville, with stops at the Ward Food Box, The Old Depot, Mud Lake, Nederland Community Center, the RTD stop (serving Tungsten Village and the Library), Caribou Village, and Howlin’ Wind/Melt Coffee, and back through Nederland to Ward.
Why only on Wednesdays and Thursdays? Good question. The dates were selected to coincide with activities around town, including Wednesday Senior Lunches or Senior Discounts at B&F. On Thursdays, residents can stop at the Nederland Food Pantry and clothing closet to pick up necessities.
The rides are free, no registration is required, and the bus is dog friendly! The bus stops at the locations at specific times, following a fixed schedule. The route begins at the Ward Food Box at 10:30 a.m., traveling back and forth between Ward and Rollinsville until 3:45 p.m., ending at its starting point in Ward.
Your friendly local Via mountain driver? Jeroen Iprenburg; he is from The Netherlands and a firm believer in the importance of mobility to connect people with people, particularly in the mountains.
Iprenburg left The Netherlands in 1988, traveling around the globe, including England and Southeast Asia, as an agronomist. He has also volunteered, teaching agriculture in Nepal. He has lived in the United States for five years and has worked for Via in Boulder County for over a year.
Regardless of how or why people lose access to transportation, it doesn’t diminish its value or importance. Via Mobility Services isn’t only providing a much-needed service. It’s also relieving many residents of one worry.
The bus can’t stop for hitchhikers along the road. But with several convenient locations, riders can potentially walk or ride their bikes to the specific stops and be picked up at specified times.
The service is new and is a work in progress. Let’s spread the word and help turn Via Mobility’s Mountain Rides into a success story for our mountain communities. The eight-passenger bus is available to anyone who wants a ride. The bus accommodates wheelchairs and cyclists.
The more people use the service, the greater chance it will remain in the mountains and could help the service expand to other areas where it’s needed. So, how about it? Want a ride to Ned, Ward, or Rollinsville? Via has got you covered.
To learn more about Mountain Rides provided by Via Mobility Services or to view the schedule, visit https:// www.peaktopeaktransportation.com/ or you can give them a call at 720- 514-9633.