County Express: History

Between 1975 and 1981, the transit system was exclusively a service for senior citizens to travel to and from the Meet and Eat sites and other activities for senior citizens.

Limitations with Funding

Because of the limitations on the use of funding from Title III of the Older American Act, transportation could not be expanded to serve other transit dependent populations with funding for senior citizens as the primary source of funding. The Federal Transit Administration and other funding sources were contacted, and it became apparent that an organizational change would be required to access funding for public transportation. NECTA began the public transportation system in 1982.

1997 Audit

Although service to the constituents was excellent, the 1997 audit noted that in the calendar year ending December 31st, 1997, the transit system of Northeastern Colorado lost $79,900 or approximately 58 cents per trip. Because of this operating loss and other concerns about the viability of the transit system, there was a need to change management of County Express.

A Change in Management

In August 1998, the Board of Directors of NECTA contracted with Association of Local Governments to

  • operate the transit system
  • develop a capital improvement/vehicle replacement plan
  • debt service plan.

The change in management saw an increase in all aspects of service for County Express from 1999 to 2005:

Ridership for County Express increased from 76,730 trips in 1999 to 105,131 trips in 2005; miles driven by County Express has increased from 468,875 miles in 1999 to 721,960 miles in 2005, and revenue hours have increased from 28,210 in 1999 to 44,161 hours in 2005.

View this information in table format

Non-Emergent Medical Transportation

In 2002, County Express developed a public-private partnership with Banner Health, El Pomar Foundation and the Caring for Colorado Foundation to provide Non-Emergent Medical Transportation to the residents of Northeastern Colorado who did not qualify for transportation funded by Medicaid.

Survey Leads to Change

While the Eastern Transportation Planning Region was developing the Transit Element for the 2030 Transportation Plan, a consultant was retained to conduct random opinion surveys at many of the County Fairs. Responses from residents of Northeastern Colorado indicated that the residents didn’t use County Express because the hours of operation were not consistent with the established hours of the major employers.

a new bus for county expressInput from the human service providers, Workforce Centers, and the Departments of Humans Service indicated there was a need for expansion of hours by County Express to serve clients requiring transport to and from work.

In response to public input on the need for expansion of service, the Board of Directors authorized a grant application to the Federal Transit Administration for the Job Access Reverse Commute Program.

Based on the survey results the Prairie Express was created in Sterling, CO

Job Access Reverse Commute Program

In response to public input on the need for expansion of service, the Board of Directors authorized a grant application to the Federal Transit Administration for the Job Access Reverse Commute Program. In 2008, County Express initiated a demonstration project for a deviated fixed route in the City of Fort Morgan and between the City of Fort Morgan and the City of Brush.

As a result, the Platte Express was created.

Operation Statistics

 

Trips

Miles Traveled

Operation Hours

Jan - Dec 2008

120,602

829,751

53,757

Jan - Dec 2007

121,563

851,392

55,759