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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

RTD has a long way to go to serve the citizens of Denver

Peter

After fare increase, RTD not seeing ridership bump amid high gas prices - The Denver Post. RTD is clueless how to run a metropolitan transportation system. You can see this by comparing it to other major cities ridership during this time of increased gas prices.

From January 2010 to January 2011, ridership was down 2.5 percent. But ridership was up 10 percent in Philadelphia; a 19 percent increase in Tampa Bay; and 22.8 percent increase in Raleigh N.C. area.

Why?

Because their routes are horrible and they have been incompetent in how they are building out FasTracks.

RTD is focused on using the hub and spoke system that the planners used to build the roads and highways in this fair city. But what if you want to go from one spoke to another? You are out of luck unless you want to take a bus that will take twice as long than driving it.

Why not run some routes from spoke-to-spoke? For example, why not run an express or a route with minimal stops from Wagon Wheel to Cold Spring? There is a route from the Westminster P&R to Cold Spring, but it takes over an hour to ride the bus when you can drive it in 20 minutes. That is a failure.

If you want to get people to take rapid transit, you have to make it convenient for them and make the trip comparable or quicker than driving it.

One of the big issues is the light rail system. The light rail system has been built out to the south metro area. In conjunction, CDOT built out Interstate 25 to accommodate the traffic.

Well if you can drive something quicker than taking the light rail or bus, then why take it?

If you look to where the worst traffic jams in the Denver Metro area are they are to the west (6th avenue) and the north (Interstate 25). I think the north part of Interstate is horrible, especially between 120th and 84th. Sometimes it is completely jammed from 120th to downtown.

What is RTD's solution? The put buses in that traffic with the cars. It doesn't save the rider time or patience? If they wanted to solve that problem, the northbound FasTrack before they considered doing the line to Arvada.

I doubt we will ever see the northern light rail line as planned to 160th. RTD wants to pass a tax increase because they sold us on a plan that they couldn't manage. The south and west metro areas have light rail, why would they vote on an increase in taxes to complete work on the northern and northwest lines?

I don't see it passing despite my desire to have the lines built out so my commute can be easier.

I travel to many metro areas in this country and all great cities have a great public transportation system. They make it easy to understand and get around.

Denver deserves a great transportation system, they just have a long way to go until they get there.