LONGMONT - The FLEX regional public transportation route connecting Longmont with the cities of Berthoud, Loveland and Fort Collins in Larimer County will continue service through 2014 and beyond.

The four cities and Boulder County announced Wednesday that funding for this service has been extended through contributions from each community partner.

FLEX, operated by Transfort, the city of Fort Collins' transportation system, has for three years been connecting Fort Collins and its neighboring communities with Longmont, where connections can be made to Regional Transportation District service into the Boulder and Denver metro areas.

FLEX operates Monday through Saturday, and fares are $1.25 per single ride. Discounts are available for seniors and the disabled, as well as through purchase of 10-ride ticket books, which cost $9. Colorado State University students ride free with a valid RamCard, and youth (17 and younger) ride free with a valid student ID. FLEX riders can transfer free to any Transfort city route in Fort Collins or any COLT route in Loveland.

Riders can't transfer free between FLEX and RTD buses, but Transfort has attempted to coordinate schedules to connect with RTD's regional buses that leave for Boulder and Denver from Longmont stops on Main Street south of 23rd Avenue and at the Eighth Avenue and Coffman Street park-n-Ride.

"Transfort is happy to continue this flexible, regional service on behalf of our funding partners, said Kurt Ravenschlag, general manager of Transfort, in a press statement. "FLEX provides a sustainable option for employees, students and others needing to travel between the communities of Northern Colorado. Now, more than ever, people are seeking ways to reduce car ownership expenses, and gaining time back in their commute."

After the FLEX route was launched in June 2010, ridership quickly grew to about 200,000 persons annually.