CyRide route changes afoot

Students riding on a CyRide bus

Students hitch a ride on CyRide. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Two new CyRide route scenarios have emerged from a lengthy study of the popular bus service that delivers some 7 million rides annually.

Transit system officials hope that CyRide passengers and other members of the public will check out the scenarios over the next couple of weeks and share their thoughts about the proposed routes.

"The scenarios aren't an all-or-nothing proposition," CyRide transit director Sheri Kyras said. "Additional scenarios could be developed as we learn what people like about the current proposals."

Public meetings

Individuals can find out more about the scenarios and offer comments at these public meetings.

Wednesday, March 1 

  • Pop-up meeting (open house format) -- Sukup atrium in the Biorenewables Complex, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
  • Public meeting (formal presentation) -- 3512 Memorial Union, 3-5 p.m.
  • Pop-up meeting (open house format) -- North Grand Mall, in front of Younkers store, 6-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 2 

  • Public meeting (formal presentation) -- Ames City Hall, Council Chambers, 515 Clark Ave., 6-8 p.m.

Online survey

Individuals also may comment on the scenarios through an online survey, available Feb. 22 through March 15.


The best way to compare the scenarios is to view the online maps. A table below each map describes differences between the proposed and current CyRide routes.

Scenario 1 features 11 routes, is most similar to the current setup and includes:

  • A new name (Cherry) for the former Red 1A route (additional west Ames service only on ISU class days)

Scenario 2 features 13 routes and includes:

  • A new name (Cherry) for the former Red 1A route (additional west Ames service only on ISU class days)
  • A new Peach route that connects the Research Park and Applied Sciences, via  Veterinary Medicine and central campus
  • A new Lilac express service (during peak hours only) from Dickenson Avenue in southwest Ames to the ISU campus
  • A new Gold route serving Schilletter Village, University Village, central campus and the Towers
  • A new type of transit service for eastern Ames (from the Skunk River to I-35). Instead of a fixed bus route, this low-ridership area would be served by door-to-door transportation, such as taxi or Uber services, with CyRide paying a portion of costs.
  • Removal of the Gray route (weekdays), that connects central campus with eastern Ames via University Boulevard and South 16th Street

Removed routes

These current routes were removed from both scenarios.

  • Aqua: A summer-only route from downtown Ames to Furman Aquatic Center
  • Pink: Limited weekday service along East Lincoln Way to Dayton Avenue and north to 13th Street
  • Silver: Sunday night shuttle service (when ISU classes meet on Monday) from stadium lots to three ISU residence hall neighborhoods

About the study

CyRide, a four-decade institution, has grown dramatically over the past decade with little changes in route structures and schedules. Last July, the transit system began a year-long study to determine the most efficient way to run the bus system. Assisting in the study is national transportation consultants Nelson\Nygaard.