Log In

Reset Password

New transportation service coming to La Plata County

‘Over The Top’ will focus on large groups going on weekend trips
Joe Evans aims to launch a charter transportation company called “Over The Top” by mid-June. His business will focus on large groups of people wanting to take a weekend trip to places like Moab, Utah. (Courtesy of Joe Evans)

Joe Evans wants to target larger groups of people in La Plata County thinking about extra transportation for various regional destinations.

Specifically, he wanted to accommodate those groups with 10 or more people who are considering a weekend getaway to various spots across the region, along with those who may not have another way of going to and from Durango-La Plata County Airport.

That’s why Evans, a mechanical contractor, aims to launch a new charter transportation company called Over The Top by mid-June.

“Apparently, there’s a huge need for it in this area, so I’m going to do my best to fulfill that need,” he said.

Evans said Over The Top will technically be more like a luxury limousine-type service to avoid the regulations and rates the state’s Public Utility Commission imposes on transportation companies.

Evans plans to take passengers to destinations such as Navajo Lake, Silverton, Pagosa Springs and Moab, Utah. And depending on if he can add a smaller vehicle that can better handle going farther up U.S. Highway 550, Evans is also considering Ouray.

Evans said he is in talks with Sky Ute Casino about providing transit service to pick up Ignacio-area residents and take them to and from DRO airport, something he learned was lacking and often requested. He said that type of service would be done on an “on-call basis.”

If Moab is on the itinerary, Evans said passengers would be dropped off at a central location like the downtown area or the nearby canyonlands when they arrive, and they’d be dropped off at Walmart upon returning to Durango.

He is currently in the process of creating a website where passengers can book reservations. He said passengers would need to book their reservations at least a week ahead of time to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

Evans grew tired of the physical strain that comes with being a mechanical contractor, which does project work in areas like heating, ventilation and cooling/air-conditioning systems; as well as electrical work and refrigeration. He wanted to make decent money providing a service he’d enjoy for an extended period.

While working as a mechanical contractor, he met a customer who works for Durango School District 9-R and inquired about providing transportation services for the district. That’s when the idea of general charter transportation came to fruition.

“My imagination just pretty much took off from there,” Evans said, adding he was also drawn to the scenery and relaxing nature of highway driving.

Evans also enjoys being in the company of large groups of people, saying he’s a “people person” and especially enjoys interacting with those who like the outdoors.

He also said he has a big imagination and is “kind of a dreamer,” adding he’s drawn to transportation services because it is an outlet for him to brainstorm related ideas and have fun with it.

“The pieces just fell into place, it was kind of crazy,” he said.

He first bought a bus in Bayfield that was for sale, and he’s currently looking for a second bus. In all, Over The Top will have three buses, with a fourth bus coming in 2025.

Evans is currently renovating the first bus to go from holding 77 people to 24 people, and the other buses will have similar capacities.

He said seat reduction will also allow him to install features like reclining seats, a sound system and Wi-Fi connectivity, and to give passengers extra leg room.

“It’s truly over the top,” he said.

Evans considers Roadrunner Transit his biggest competitor, but he said Roadrunner covers a different area and follows a set schedule, whereas he will be more of an on-call service.

Evans said he’s trying to figure out what state regulations will say as to whether passengers can bring their own alcohol on the bus, but he will not supply or sell alcohol himself.

He said he is looking into designing the buses with certain themes, like rock climbing, to appeal to such niches, and he’s looking to contract with a local massage therapist so passengers can get a massage while on the bus.

He’s also considering adding wraparound video screens for reclining seats so passengers can play video games on the bus.

Although he is still ironing out details on service costs to transport passengers to out-of-state spots like Moab, Evans said the tentative price range traveling between, for example, downtown Durango and either Sky Ute Casino or Purgatory Resort will likely be $30 to $35 per person.

If demand requires using more than his first bus, Evans said he looks to hire several people to drive the remaining few buses.

“It’s going to be a really fun adventure,” he said.


Reader Comments