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The eastbound Amtrak arrives Denver 6:38 PM (18:38 PT). How can I get to Fort Collins from there?

  • The Super Shuttle runs roughly hourly from Denver International Airport to Fort Collins, but the airport is 40 km from the Amtrak station, so that's a major detour, that would mean taking bus FX from Market Street Station 7:18 PM, arriving at the airport at 8:27 PM, then the super shuttle 9:05 PM, arriving Fort Collins CSU at 10:55 PM; almost 4 hours after departing from Denver.

  • Greyhound Lines appears to have a bus departing 12:45 AM, arriving 02:00 AM — although probably as quick as it gets, this is not exactly a comfortable time.

  • RTD Denver has transportation to Longmont and Flex from Longmont to Fort Collins, but the last bus from Longmont appears to depart 7:05 PM — so I won't make it there when arriving by Amtrak.

  • A taxi would cost an estimated 166 US$ according to Taxifarefinder.

Is there any other way to get to Fort Collins when arriving by the eastbound Amtrak, any way that I've missed?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You've identified most of the standard options. Almost all travel between Denver and Fort Collins is by private car (as is almost all travel in general in the U.S., outside of a handful of corridors between large cities), and relatively few people are expected to take Amtrak to Denver in order to get to Fort Collins, so the schedules are not coordinated.

  • You could spend the night in Denver, then hop on a Greyhound in the morning. LoDo has plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you entertained.

  • There is no getting around the fact that the airport is very, very far from downtown and out of the way for getting to Ft. Collins. But you can take a taxi from downtown Denver to the airport for about $55-60 rather than wait for the FX bus to amble along, which might enable you to catch an earlier shuttle.

  • Besides SuperShuttle, there is a competing service called Green Ride Colorado which travels between the airport and Fort Collins. They have better Yelp reviews than SuperShuttle, for what that's worth.

  • I see about four private car services that come up on a web search for Denver airport transportation from Fort Collins (but you wouldn't need to take them to or from the airport). While it wouldn't be cheap, you could probably negotiate a rate cheaper than the taxi.

  • You could post on Zimride or another rideshare service to see if anyone else is heading from downtown Denver to Fort Collins in your time frame. Of course, depending on a stranger entails its own risks.

  • You'll arrive too late to rent a car, as there are no facilities at the Amtrak stop (as you are probably already aware, Denver Union Station is undergoing a massive renovation, so the train stops several blocks away), and the neighborhood rental car locations will be closed by the time you arrive. You'd have to get to the airport to rent a car, and once you've gone that far, you might as well just take the shuttle. But if anyone arriving earlier happens upon this thread, it's an option to consider.

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It would be nice if I could somehow communicate specifically with other Amtrak travellers, to see if anyone getting off at Denver would be going northward; Union Station had 113393 travellers FY12, averaging more than 300 per day, if ~150 get off perhaps someone has transportation northward... – gerrit Apr 26 '13 at 11:38
    
Are there really no rental car services open on a weekday evening downtown in a city as big as Denver? – gerrit Apr 26 '13 at 11:41
    
Considering that Thursday – Friday I'll be in Boulder, having only one day with business in Fort Collins, it looks like the most practical option after all is to head for a hotel in Boulder on Tuesday and travel to and from Fort Collins on Wednesday directly. – gerrit Apr 26 '13 at 11:44
    
@gerrit The downtown rental locations are mainly there to serve business customers, so they typically keep regular business hours (somewhere between 7am and 7pm weekdays) even in metropolises like Chicago or Philadelphia. – choster Apr 26 '13 at 14:30

This doesn't exactly answer the question posed, due to its schedule, but could be useful for other people traveling between Denver's Union Station and Fort Collins.

From July 2015, there is a public commuter bus service running between Denver and Fort Collins: Bustang North Line. It runs on weekdays from Denver's Union Station (which is where Amtrak stops) to the Fort Collins downtown transit center, with only two intermediate stops (I-25 at US-34 in Loveland, and the Harmony Transfer Center at I-25 and Harmony Road in Fort Collins).

Unfortunately the last northbound service departs Union Station at 6:15pm, too early for travelers arriving at 6:38 pm on the eastbound California Zephyr. But it could be useful for travelers arriving westbound, or departing in either direction.

Note, as mentioned, that this bus only runs Monday through Friday. And check the schedule carefully as there are only a few buses per day, mainly around commute times.

The fare from Denver to Fort Collins is $10. The bus has a large luggage compartment underneath, and free WiFi.

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