Parachute transit system up and running
Commissioners applaud efforts to connect communities
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The new Parachute Area Transit System (PATS) is in full
October 15, 2020
operation, connecting commuters from Parachute and Battlement Mesa with the City of Rifle
and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) Hogback bus service.
The system utilizes two buses – one has capacity for 20, while the other holds 12 passengers.
Typically, one bus is in operation, with the other being held as a backup. Services operate from
4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and stops are located throughout Parachute, Battlement Mesa and
Earlier this year, Garfield County approved a $278,360 grant to help the transit service
materialize and has supported the effort throughout the process. The Town of Parachute
supported the project with $100,000, and the City of Rifle donated a senior services bus for use
along the route.
PATS takes riders into Rifle for work, shopping, school, health care services and more. From
Rifle, commuters can connect with the Hogback, which takes them east along Interstate 70 and
into the Roaring Fork Valley.
“A lot of people take it to get to work, so we identified the major employment centers in Rifle,
which are City Market and Garfield County government offices, and down to the RFTA park and
ride,” said Stuart McArthur, administrator for the Town of Parachute. “The route then heads out
to Grand River Hospital, Walmart and out to Colorado Mountain College.”
The bus service offers a discounted monthly pass, a 10-ride punch pass and a per ride fare.
Seniors, students and veterans have discounted fares, and kids ages six and younger ride for
free. Schedules and information on passes and fares are available online at
“We have riders that are using the service to get around Battlement Mesa and Parachute, but
most are using it to get to their places of employment,” McArthur told the commissioners.