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Open the (bus) door to independent travel

Brian Burton, travel trainer for Via, is peppered with questions as he and eight “trainees” walk from the Longmont Senior Center  to the nearby RTD bus station for a learn-as-you-go experience on a cloudy Wednesday morning. While clearly ready for an adventure, most of these seniors have not ridden the bus in recent years and want to know how it all works.

They are participating in one of Via’s Seniors on the Move classes, half-day outings designed to be both fun and educational. Typically offered by Via in collaboration with a local senior center, the free classes provide an overview of the public transportation system through an actual ride on the bus with an instructor to answer questions along the way.

This group is headed to the Boulder RTD transit station for a tour, since it’s a central transfer point in the local transit system, and then a walk to Pearl Street Mall for coffee or tea before heading back to Longmont on the bus.

Patricia Bergstrom, a transit veteran who doesn’t have a car and uses the local Longmont bus frequently, wants to expand her travel options. She’s thinking about a trip from Longmont to Flatirons Mall.

“There’s always more to learn about using the bus, and this seemed like a good way to do it,” she said.

Leah Wilson and Elaine Nave are newbies to the bus. They still drive locally but like the idea of being able to go to Denver or Fort Collins without worrying about traffic. They’re thinking about the future and learning to use the bus fits their independent lifestyle.

Via has upcoming Seniors on the Move classes scheduled at the Boulder, Erie and Lafayette Senior Centers. Learn more.

See Facebook photo album of class.

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