City finalizes HOP service enhancements to begin Aug. 26

Changes include a new timetable and expanded evening and weekend service

Beginning Aug. 26, the HOP—a mainstay of Boulder’s Community Transit Network for the past 24 years—will move to a new schedule with expanded evening and weekend service, and a timetable that will provide more reliable service. The HOP will continue as a looped route serving major destinations, including downtown Boulder, the Twenty Ninth Street Mall and the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder.

Currently, the HOP runs as a “headway-based service,” which means there is no specific schedule, but the bus is expected to arrive every 9 to 15 minutes at each stop. Over the years, this headway service has been difficult to maintain and has sometimes led to delays.

To offer better reliability and allow customers to more efficiently plan their trips, the HOP will move to a schedule-based service, with buses running 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day instead of reduced service hours on weekends. The HOP will also have the same schedule year-round instead of reduced service when CU Boulder is out of session. Details of the schedule include:

Monday – Friday:

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 10-minute frequency

7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: 15-minute frequency

Saturday and Sunday:

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 15-minute frequency

7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: 30-minute frequency

“The service changes will offer travel times that are more competitive with driving and ridehailing services,” said Senior Transportation Planner Natalie Stiffler. “The changes are also responsive to feedback from many members of the community who have asked for a set schedule and shorter wait times.”

After the completion of the HOP Transit Study in 2016, the city considered changing the HOP route from a loop to four distinct linear routes to expand ridership and service coverage. However, to be responsive to recent customer feedback, the city is pausing the segmentation of the HOP route and will keep the HOP a looped route for the near-term. The pause allows more time for community engagement, implementation of the new schedule-based service and the exploration of future strategies to expand HOP service.

Many community members may have already noticed that some of the HOP buses feature a new bright-orange design. The new design signals the upcoming service changes and gives the HOP a more modern look that includes graphical representations of Boulder’s major landmarks. All of the HOP buses will be rewrapped with the new design in the coming weeks.

The HOP is managed by the City of Boulder and operated by Via Mobility Services.

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