Comparing Sioux Falls proposed Transit Fee hikes with Ft. Collins, CO

The city of Sioux Falls is proposing bus fee hikes (Item #21-1st Reading)


Let’s compare our fare increases to Ft. Collins current fees.

• It is called “TransFort”

• Ft. Collins population is about 150,000.

• Find it at
• The basic fare is $1.25. The 31-day fare is $25.
• Children and college students ride free all year. (Colleges pitch in for this, I think.)
• Transfers are free.
• They have a program called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), a modern system that gets bus routes connected faster. Their BRT”MAX” has free wifi, and its stops have screens showing arrival time.  There is comprehensive coverage of the city, unlike our routes provide.
• It’s not perfect, but the Ft.Collins system provides far more value to its riders for their $1.25 than our bus system can do next year for $1.50.
The proposed bus fares in Sioux Falls are too high considering the service available on SAM (even as wonderful as our buses and drivers and passengers are). I have been to Ft. Collins and plan on visiting again soon. Yes, it has a large college there, but the size of the city is comparable, but it is much more progressive (oh, and Mary Jane is legal there). When I visited I was impressed by the progressiveness of the transportation options.


#1 Colorado is where it's at! on 07.22.15 at 10:49 pm

You movin to Ft. Collins? That state and city are rich with cash with MJ money and wouldn’t be surprised if the legalize all drugs there next which would really bring in za cash and subsidize all kinds of services.

#2 Bill on 07.22.15 at 11:44 pm

Why not move there? No doubt the sky is falling there too; you need only point it out to them.

#3 l3wis on 07.23.15 at 7:54 am

Funny, I know a couple that is retired there and their daughter also lives there. They like it, but they said the developers are just as corrupt there as here (with city handouts). Houses also go for about 2-3x as much in the Downtown area then in Sioux Falls. My house which I would value you at about $85-90K would go for about $200K in Ft. Collins in the same comparable area. I will say this though, it is the beer capital of the United States. I think I tried about 60 different beers in 3 days when I stayed (flights of course). And there downtown area is bustling and a lot of fun.

#4 SF Resident on 07.23.15 at 8:45 am

Several years ago when the SF transit system eliminated transfers they in effect DOUBLED the cost of a bus trip.

Seriously, where can you go in this town WITHOUT a transfer.

So, suddenly instead of being able to take the bus for a $1 you were paying $2.

Now a bus trip will cost you $3 NOT $1.50!!!!

#5 The Daily Spin on 07.23.15 at 11:42 am

I lived in Colorado 10 years. There’s state income tax, car license is about $500/yr, and sales tax is higher. Property tax is a lower rate but valuations are higher so about the same. Financially, it’s better to retire here. However, there’s lots of free or cheaper entertainment there and the mountains for recreation.

I’ve often camped out weekends at the Ft. Collins Hilton if in the area more than a week. Every kind of restaurant nearby and always something going on. Pleasant and relaxing. I’d stay there on purpose without having to do business.

In Ft. Collins, the bus is popular bease the price is low and schedule superior. It’s hard to find parking. It’s easier to step on and off buses. Bus service is important here because wages are so low. Users can’t afford a car. If the city can’t manage prices and schedules, there should be federal intervention. One good way to keep fares low is to stop building empty parking garages downtown.

#6 scott on 07.23.15 at 3:03 pm

you can only compare rates to other cities if they are higher than rates in Sioux Falls, to justify raising rates here.