Max Stupid In Fort Collins

The city of Fort Collins spent countless millions of dollars building a special bus line called Max, which runs every eight minutes along the train tracks north/south in downtown.


It is a huge double bus, which typically has three or four riders – making it the most inefficient vehicle on the road – pumping out huge amounts of CO2 per capita. It also has done nothing to ease parking issues, because most of the riders would have ridden their bicycle had the bus not been available.

Fort Collins is probably the biggest cycling town in the country. The number of cyclists exceeds the number of Max riders by at least a factor of 100. Maybe by a factor of 1000. But the city has done nothing to improve the bike trail system recently, and in fact there are no bike trails on the north end of town where I live – which led to the death of a cyclist two weeks ago.


Instead of doing something simple and effective to make Fort Collins greener, the mayor chose to waste massive amounts of taxpayer money on a system which increases CO2 emissions, and solves no problems. Greens are incapable of thinking rationally. They make token gestures which accomplish the exact opposite of what was intended.

About Tony Heller

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29 Responses to Max Stupid In Fort Collins

  1. gator69 says:

    • Beale says:

      I remember The Big Bus, but I had forgotten that they played that music (which was in the public domain, by the way).

  2. Everybody can see in the picture that the Max bus is green and it made Fort Collins greener. Only reactionaries, saboteurs and wreckers complain about the accomplishments and progress in the People’s Republic.

    • Stewart Pid says:

      Indeed CW …. I started buying my gasoline from a green coloured pump last year and now feel much better 😉

  3. gonewiththewind says:

    The line was built by union labor and the drivers are all union workers. This was never about efficiency or providing something for the public. It was always about union votes and pay back to the unions.

    • rah says:

      Of course! That is part of the Chicago way! The way that most cities of any size or even smaller ones where there is money seem to operate.

  4. tomwys1 says:

    Same thing happened in Hartford, CT with a “Busway” from New Britain to Hartford.

    Big push by the (Dem) Gov. for the “jobs” vote!!!

    • gator69 says:

      Amtrak. And of course these boondoggles…

      The California High-Speed Rail Authority has estimated the project’s year-of-expenditure cost at $68.4 billion (2011 estimate).

      SFO to LAX Round-trip = $137

      The equivalent of 499,270,073 tickets

      More than 6 million people fly between the Los Angeles basin and San Francisco Bay per year

      For round trip, cut that figure in half, to 3 million.

      So my back of the envelope figures show that for the cost of building the high speed rail, you could fly everyone for free for 166 years.

      Of course projects like this can easily double in actual cost.

      But who is counting? And who is profiting?

      • rah says:

        If your using Amtrak figures your not basing your prices on reality. That socialist boondoggle sets new standards for poor service and administration that exceeds that of even many other government agencies. I honestly believe that for the long haul service a private rail company could make a real go of it even on existing tracks. I know I would very much enjoy a luxury train ride to certain places on a well run line if it were available as long I didn’t have to deal with those TSA idiots much.

        Don’t get me wrong. I love to fly but haven’t been on an airline since they instituted this TSA mess and won’t get on one unless there is absolutely no other way of getting where I want to go in the time I need to get there.

        • gator69 says:

          The only time I fly now is when I leave the country, otherwise I drive. By the time I drive to the airport, put my car in long term parking, check my bags, clear security, board the plane, make the flight, deplane, find my luggage, obtain a rental car, and drive to my final destination, I can usually be there already. And my truck never bumps me or cancels due to weather.

        • Beale says:

          I’ve been thinking about this too. The fact that the railroads were losing money on passenger service before Amtrak was the logical and predictable effect of the regulatory system; it proves nothing about the viability of passenger railroading on the free market. Neither, of course, does the fact that Amtrak is losing money hand over fist; that’s what government “enterprises” do.

      • Bob123 says:

        The main reason passenger rail will never be close to profitable is that it is different from every other successful transportation system. The rails are mostly privately owned by CSX, NS, and others, while the passenger service is run by the government(AMTRAK). With every other (profitable) form of transportation the government owns the infrastructure, but private enterprise moves the people.

        The airlines don’t have the overhead cost of new airports, air traffic control centers, and many other government owned and operated functions.

        • gator69 says:

          The point of my post is that government subsidized rail service is a boondoggle, like most government subsidized ventures. High speed rail is just a faster way of wasting even more money.

  5. rah says:

    It makes me sick to see so many trucking companies jumping on the BS “Green” bandwagon. See them all the time with their “Green” propaganda on their trucks as they pass my 65 mph truck. Fact is that skirts and trailer tails and wheel covers all help with mileage on a big rig but the greatest factors are how heavy to load is, how the driver drives, proper tire pressure, and well maintained equipment. The mileage one can gain by dropping their hwy speed by just 2 mph far outstrips the savings gained by all those gadgets combined.

    • gregole says:

      It’s always good to hear a dose of reality in the face of all this green marketing nonsense. That green crap is starting to turn my stomach.

  6. inMAGICn says:

    In the holy city of Olympia in Western Wa, the biking groups are legion, but commuter biking is limited by the need to get places more-or-less dry. In the rainy season, there are few days when this can be done. What is biking like in Ft. Collins come winter? Nothing excuses a mess like that ugly green slug, but won’t its supporters say “wait for the snows?”

  7. lance says:

    Calgary is working to add bike lanes in the downtown core area. Met lots of resistance by ‘motorist’ of course, but it does see lots of cyclists….its a trial run for 1 year and then they will review. We shall see how it goes….

    • V. Uil says:

      Right. As a former citizen of Calgary I can attest to the fact that such bicycle tracks will be useless for a good percentage of the year unless someone can invent a snowplow for bicycles.

      Calgary is adding cycle tracks because they have a trendy left wing Muslim mayor and he wants to keep favor with the inner city voters. But let’s not forget the wealth of Calgary is built on the oil sands plain and simple. The cycle tracks are simply a green affectation.

  8. Warren WAlker says:

    Unfortunately – we have a new ghost bike in out city. I was Marshalling a USA Cycling race last week when a motorist stopped to complain, “Why are you riding bikes on this road?” I replied because it is a “Road Race.” We were permitted and obeying all traffic laws.

  9. Yep… total CRAP… same here… I work by the Bus Depot and see a few dozen huge brand new busses speculially outfitted … costing a few hundred K each… running all day on Natural Gas… little ridership…

    Then they build Carpool lanes and charge tolls with out tax money… while other lanes pile up…

    Total politics NOT Pragmatism…

  10. Mike D says:

    You’ve neglected to include this one valuable part of the experience. This has to be worth a few million dollars alone:

    What is the sound coming from the stations?

    The sound is part of the Art in Public Places component of MAX. The hour-long mix of sound plays from speakers in the light poles with integrated art. They were selected by the artist and include 22 recordings of natural environments and varied, surprising sounds for a creative mix. The tracks are 1 to 4 minutes long and play randomly, so they assemble in different ways at different times during brief passenger waits at the stations.–faqs/allfaqs

  11. Eric Simpson says:

    I don’t know if these green loons will ever reach peak idiocy.

  12. Robertv says:

    “a system which increases CO2 emissions,” is what I call GREEN. Plants love it.

    • Robertv says:

      How many cyclers do you need to produce the same amount of this most needed gas? Why not let it run every 4 minutes and make it free for all those who pay taxes in Fort Collins? You want the cars of the road and create a paradise for cyclists ?

  13. Thehighlonesome says:

    Look on the bright side. This winter MAX buses will become mobile homeless shelters.

  14. rah says:

    I’ll be driving my Freightliner Cascadia Evolution with a DD15 engine pulling a 53′ refer with a load 43,000 lb load of Nestle’s product the 610 mi. to Elkton, MD leaving at 01:30 tomorrow morning. Elkton is in the NE part of the state a little too close to Newark, NJ for my liking. No back haul scheduled yet but odds are I’ll be going into NJ for what ever they come up with.

    Years ago I could have diverted and gone through Gettysburg in US 30, The Chambersburg Pike going in and the York Pike going out, but that is no longer an option. Did it several times late at night or even during the day during the winter. But now days the DOT and PA state troopers are all over it and trying is just asking for a ticket.

  15. Scott says:

    Ah, the MAX. I know of only one person who likes it, and he moved here after it was built. And I work at the university…lots of complaints about it. It’d be really interesting to see how much biking would increase if they would dump that kind of money into biking. Heck, just copy the MAX and give bikers their own wide road… As for the MAX, it seems one of its main uses is for people getting drunk in old town wanting a “free” ride home.

    But the city has done nothing to improve the bike trail system recently, and in fact there are no bike trails on the north end of town where I live…

    I disagree with that statement in general, though it may be true on the north end of town (I’ve heard tons of complaints about the Poudre Trail closures the last year). This spring at the south end, they opened up a new section connecting the south end of the Power Trail to a trail that reaches down to Carpenter road (formerly the south end already existed as a residential trail, they just connected to it). I use it a lot…for running. I think I’ve biked on it only once LOL. For residents of the Greenstone neighborhood it should promote biking because it keeps them off of a busy/fast Lemay. Supposedly there are plans to connect the south end of the Mason trail to the Kathy Fromme trail where it current terminates at Shields…that’d be really sweet for my family and would help out with all sorts of recreational biking. Though I don’t know if it’d really help in terms of the number of biker commuting. A friend of mine was told that the trail may be built within a year.


  16. gregole says:

    Just so you know, Arizona is also subject to this particular form of stupidity:

    $8.5 million to build this boondoggle – essentially a parking lot. I drive by it twice a day to and from work. Never see more than a couple to a handful of cars parked therein. I make a left hand turn opposed to the “express” buses; all filled with empty seats.

    Complete utter waste of money.

    I will add though, that for a parking lot, it is sort of attractively done. Empty though. All the time. Kind of eerie.

    • They’re building the infrastructure now (while it’s cheaper) for services they will try to force us to use in the future. We should try to think rationally about their approach, because there is method in their “madness”.

      Why are they spending so much money on aesthetics and comfort? To try to blunt the expected arguments about the inferiority of transit, when they really start forcing people out of their cars.

      Why does the TSA molest us at airports, but not so much at train stations? To push us to the system they want us on — the government system, and the one which uses less fuel. They are under a global fatwa to reduce our fuel usage, or else they pay dearly with the global administrators. (G20, WTO, et cetera.)

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