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  #12341  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2019, 8:08 PM
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Why try to fix that which is totally Broken?

RTD Wants to “Reimagine” Its Services, but First It Has to Staff Them
OCTOBER 9, 2019 By CHASE WOODRUFF - Westword
Quote:
Amid these staffing troubles, there’s at least one bright spot, RTD staff told directors on Tuesday. The agency is having much better luck hiring train operators for its commuter rail lines, including for the N Line to Thornton
A) Obviously, RTD has too many chiefs, not enough Indians; too many Chefs, not enough cooks.
There's too much red tape, too much waste, too much politics. Blow it up and create a private sector company who knows how to run a business which could contract out to operate bus service to anyone who wants it. It could be RTD or suburban cities could contract with whoever they want.
(Note: I have a caricature of bunt on my left shoulder and a conservative on my right shoulder)

B) I've read so many Streetsblog pieces I think I could repeat their talking points in my sleep when it comes to bus service. It's not about agreeing or disagreeing; the best response is "It depends" on context and details.

C) Give 'em what they want
We want frequent service on a grid system. We want to stiff the suburbs.
Fine! What suburban city needs Big Bertha buses running on their streets anyway that couldn't be better served by shuttle-style buses. Shuttle-sized buses would likely be much easier to find drivers for.

D) There will be exceptions
The Flatiron Flyer is a part of FasTracks so that would continue.
Lakewood and Aurora may want to buy into extended service along Colfax for example.
Etc.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Oct 10, 2019 at 8:19 PM.
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  #12342  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2019, 9:12 PM
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DIA selects two construction partners for Great Hall project
Oct 10, 2019 By Monica Vendituoli – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Quote:
While Great Hall Partners has been vacating the construction site, DIA has been working to identify and secure a program management team, a lead design firm and a construction manager and general contractor for Phase 1.

DIA has selected Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE: JCM), the second-largest engineering firm in the Denver area, as its preferred program management firm. Additionally, DIA is issuing Jacobs a “task order” under its previously approved on call contract so the firm can become more familiar with the project.
Any holdovers?
Quote:
DIA also approved extending Gilmore Construction’s contract to complete the TSA Central Monitoring Facility in the Great Hall.

“Gilmore Construction is a subcontractor to Great Hall Builders and is a few months away from completing its work on the CMF, so DEN elected to take over the contract in order to seamlessly finish out the project for our partners at TSA,” the news release said. “...Gilmore will also support DEN for the interim transition from when DEN takes control of the project on November 12, 2019 to when a phase one builder is officially under contract for Great Hall in Q1 2020.”
For the record, many may recall the very successful local private company CH2M Hill? They were bought out by Jacobs Engineering in Dec 2017.
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  #12343  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:29 AM
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Compare what? Compare this!

We now have two quarters of APTA ridership reports to compare and wander and wonder about.

Light Rail Ridership
2019 1st quarter: 5.575 million down -11.27% from 2018 1st quarter or 6.283 million
2019 2nd quarter: 6.270 million down -0.8% from 2018 2nd quarter or 6.312 million

Logically, some of the 1st quarter's drop compared to last year would be from the ticket price increase. Clearly the 2nd quarter snapped back fairly close to last year's numbers.

Commuter Rail Ridership
2019 1st quarter: 1.794 million up 4% from 2018 1st quarter or 1.724 million
2019 2nd quarter: 2.462 million up 29.2% from 2018 2nd quarter or 1.906 million

Commuter Rail is up 17.2% year-to-date Note: G Line opening was April 26, 2019

Bus Ridership
2019 1st quarter: 17.414 million up 10.9% from 2018 1st quarter or 15.702 million
2019 2nd quarter: 17.587 million up 11.2% from 2018 2nd quarter or 15.821 million

Obviously comparisons between 2019 and 2018 are a wee bit crazy but I'm not going to worry about it and just roll with the new numbers into the future.
Note: 2nd quarter rail ridership is 49% of bus ridership.
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  #12344  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:43 AM
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I'm just going to tuck this here for safe-keeping

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I just recalled what I wanted to ask you. While you've mentioned it before, at the time I didn't care but now I'm curious. What's the difference between King County bus service and Sound Transit bus service?
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Sound Transit runs longer routes around the metro area, typically expresses often on HOV lanes on freeways. King County focuses on local routes in King County. The outer counties also have their own bus systems and have lines that come into Seattle.
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  #12345  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 6:53 PM
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I'm just going to tuck this here for safe-keeping
(No, this is not a double-post.)

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/new...for-the-future
Quote:
The city started working with RTD to plan for future traffic with its projected growth by constructing new light rail stations in empty fields. “Lincoln station is a great example. When it opened in 2006, virtually nothing was around it and you’re fast forward 13 years to 2019 and that station is nearly entirely built out,” Holwell said.

Now, with the newest light rail stations coming online this year, Holwell is predicting a similar transition to the surrounding area. “The light rail investment on the southeast extension is clearly a plan for the future not for the traffic today,” he said.
Since I'm still a Big Time Believer in the transit bones that RTD has built it's important to get the most our of them. Yes, I have some ideas which are largely redundant from past discussions but we'll go there anyway and update them.
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  #12346  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 8:03 PM
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I decided to take a closer look at recent rail station numbers

2019 Rail Station activity from May 19th to Aug 19th
This is after 'new counting' and also reflects slower Auraria months.

Outside of the central city things have changed some. The Peoria Station is rocking good numbers; Central Park Station is climbing higher; Lincoln Station crashed and burned but RidgeGate Parkway station came from nowhere to eclipse Lincoln Station; Nine Mile Station has recouped previous losses to once again be a star.

Best suburban stations' weekday ridership and placement (Not including DIA)
6. Peoria Station - 7,233
7. Littleton/Mineral Station - 5,194
8. Nine Mile Station - 5,111
9. Central Park Station - 5,080
12. 40th & Airport - 4,792
14. Colorado Station - 4,094
15. Englewood Station - 4,091
16. Southmoor Station - 4,043

That's everything above 4,000. Note how these stations are either south, SE or east. Something about that (I-225) H Line that still impresses. The new end-of-line stop at Florida (with no parking) comes in 25th out of 66 stations with a count of 2,732 (compare to below) and if you add those numbers to Nine Mile Station it's even more impressive.

Still a bit perplexing - the W Line numbers
27. Wadsworth Station - 2,375
28. Taj Mahal Station - 2,342
30. Federal Center - 2,243
41. Sheridan Station - 1,441

G Line early returns
31. Olde Town Arvada - 2,204
48. Wheat Ridge-Ward - 1,299
52. Arvada Ridge - 949
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  #12347  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 8:45 PM
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I'm just going to put this here for reference


From "Trains, Buses, People." All map images: Island Press via Streetsblog Denver

Wanting a map that fits the page better, I found this on Streetsblog Denver. It's a good perspective and what I wanted actually as it also shows density.
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  #12348  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2019, 9:41 PM
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I even found it in Bronco colors


Source

It seems fair and obvious (as apposed to 'fair and balanced') that the city and the suburbs are two different environments. It seems equally logical that what works best for one may not work best for the other.

Rather than hating on Uber/Lyft and clinging to you grandfather's bus system why not learn and create the next gen transit system? This feels like such a simple question looking for a simple answer. That doesn't mean it would be simple to implement but you can either stay stuck in yesterday or catch up to what the tech world can bring to the equation.

Now that I've found my suburban hat let's see what happens.

That's all for today's boomer-land wisdom but I'll leave you with one classic boomer song done by an Italian at (Lake) Las Vegas. (Guy gets a Standing Ovation and can't even see it)
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  #12349  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2019, 3:22 AM
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10 consecutive posts by TakeFive. Why don't you just become a mod already. You practically live here.
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  #12350  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2019, 3:32 AM
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Cars are evil. Uber/Lyft use cars. Ergo, Uber/Lyft are evil. The urban ethos is not hard to follow.

But don’t be mistaken, nobody here cares what happens in the suburbs. Unless it’s something a shared government (read: CDOT) does that touches the urban. In which case, those things are also evil.

It’s actually not complicated. No more complicated than the mind of a Trump voter. Except, not evil.
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  #12351  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2019, 9:12 PM
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wong21fr wong21fr is offline
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^Don't forget, buses are also evil. Everyone should ride bikes and there should be trams on every street.

And people shouldn't reproduce and put all of their love and time into discovering trendy restaurant, posting on Instrgram, riding a fixie, all while tending to their shit-beasts.
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  #12352  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2019, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
^Don't forget, buses are also evil. Everyone should ride bikes and there should be trams on every street.

And people shouldn't reproduce and put all of their love and time into discovering trendy restaurant, posting on Instrgram, riding a fixie, all while tending to their shit-beasts.
Jesus Christ, ya'll bitter. Keep them stereotypes coming, I love boiling down complicated and nuanced opinions or life philosophies into pseudo-funny soundbites that make it easy to marginalize a group of people. So edgy.

Back to the actual debate - bus routes need to be significantly optimized to begin with. We have too many bus stops that are too close to each other - half a mile between stops should be enough, rather than stopping every 400 feet. They should also follow major streets, rather than going deeply into neighborhoods that are already close to bus stops on main streets.

I don't mind taking a bus, if it adds a couple of minutes to my commute. The issue is that if the bus is 3 minutes late and I miss the light rail, it would add another 12 minutes to my commute. If both the buses and the light rail were much more frequent, the system would be more convenient.

I lived in a city with the population of 250,000 in Slovakia. The buses were so frequent, that one was never really worried when the next one is coming, as it was most like within the next 5 minutes. Same for trams. The lack of frequency (and I understand that frequency = a whole lot of money) is part of the issue.
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  #12353  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 2:26 AM
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Originally Posted by The Dirt View Post
10 consecutive posts by TakeFive. Why don't you just become a mod already. You practically live here.
I nominate The Dirt for secret mod. I demand edgy philosophical sound bites in his stump speech.
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  #12354  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 4:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mishko27 View Post
Jesus Christ, ya'll bitter. Keep them stereotypes coming, I love boiling down complicated and nuanced opinions or life philosophies into pseudo-funny soundbites that make it easy to marginalize a group of people. So edgy.

Back to the actual debate - bus routes need to be significantly optimized to begin with. We have too many bus stops that are too close to each other - half a mile between stops should be enough, rather than stopping every 400 feet. They should also follow major streets, rather than going deeply into neighborhoods that are already close to bus stops on main streets.

I don't mind taking a bus, if it adds a couple of minutes to my commute. The issue is that if the bus is 3 minutes late and I miss the light rail, it would add another 12 minutes to my commute. If both the buses and the light rail were much more frequent, the system would be more convenient.

I lived in a city with the population of 250,000 in Slovakia. The buses were so frequent, that one was never really worried when the next one is coming, as it was most like within the next 5 minutes. Same for trams. The lack of frequency (and I understand that frequency = a whole lot of money) is part of the issue.
Deep and insightful. Real value add, thanks for that. There is no debate here. There’s a whole lot of preaching and judging, and very little in terms of practical solutions that don’t f*** average people. That’s progressive urban America.

Wonder if Slovakia could afford all those buses if they had to pay for their own national defense.
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  #12355  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 3:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Deep and insightful. Real value add, thanks for that. There is no debate here. There’s a whole lot of preaching and judging, and very little in terms of practical solutions that don’t f*** average people. That’s progressive urban America.
Wonder if Slovakia could afford all those buses if they had to pay for their own national defense.
Hey considering we're cutting and running and leaving allies in lurches we won't need to pay for anyone's national defense pretty soon- ours included. It's a great deal! The deal of the century! No one is a greater warrior than Trump!

You know that average people are f**cked. They just are. Stop trying to bemoan the plight of the common man and just revel in the fact that you don't have to worry about them as you are above them. No one in this state wants to pay for a transportation system that would actually move them from point A to point B in an efficient manner with more than one mode. They don't want tolled lanes, they don't want an arterial bus system that's frequent and high speed, nor do they want a system that kills non-performing routes and leaves the option of on-demand transit, driving, or rideshares. Let's not mention that the average guy also wants to put in growth caps, while still being able to buy a house for $250K which they can then sell for $500K, and then buy a bigger house for $350K.

Colorado is a state that want to have it's cake and eat it too without having to pay for it. Until we untie that knot, the average guy is f**cked.
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  #12356  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 4:03 PM
mishko27 mishko27 is offline
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Deep and insightful. Real value add, thanks for that. There is no debate here. There’s a whole lot of preaching and judging, and very little in terms of practical solutions that don’t f*** average people. That’s progressive urban America.

Wonder if Slovakia could afford all those buses if they had to pay for their own national defense.
Good point. Slovak Air Force does currently have all of 2 (possibly 3, it's kind of classified info, somehow) fighter jets. We did just buy 16 F-16s for over 1.5 billion euros, though. We do contribute 1.2% of our GDP to NATO (as of 2018), on par with Germany and more than Spain.

I do think a deep dive into the country budgets would be very helpful to determine how can a country of 5.5 million people (coincidentally, the size of Colorado) afford comprehensive public transportation system, public universities and healthcare, and many other services, while the income taxes are significantly less progressive than in the US (two tax brackets, 20% and 25%). All this with a balanced budget for the last 4 years. We're about to go into a slight deficit next year and are projected to be back to balanced budget by 2021.
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  #12357  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mishko27 View Post
I do think a deep dive into the country budgets would be very helpful to determine how can a country of 5.5 million people (coincidentally, the size of Colorado) afford comprehensive public transportation system, public universities and healthcare, and many other services, while the income taxes are significantly less progressive than in the US (two tax brackets, 20% and 25%). All this with a balanced budget for the last 4 years. We're about to go into a slight deficit next year and are projected to be back to balanced budget by 2021.
This secession idea is coming more and more into focus. Slovakia is also a landlocked, rather mountainous state; I'm seeing many similarities. If your birth country can pull it off, then why not your adopted homeland? Let's get those 1% growth-cappers to start gathering signatures for this idea instead! Colorado loves a referendum.
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  #12358  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 8:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mishko27 View Post
I do think a deep dive into the country budgets would be very helpful to determine how can a country of 5.5 million people (coincidentally, the size of Colorado) afford comprehensive public transportation system, public universities and healthcare, and many other services, while the income taxes are significantly less progressive than in the US (two tax brackets, 20% and 25%). All this with a balanced budget for the last 4 years. We're about to go into a slight deficit next year and are projected to be back to balanced budget by 2021.
20% and 25% income tax brackets plus a 20% VAT versus (for a comparative with CO) a 4.63% income tax and a 2.9% sales tax. That comparative difference right there is a very strong indicator on why we cannot have nice things.
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  #12359  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2019, 4:01 AM
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RTD Proposes ‘Significant’ Cuts To Bus And Train Service Over Driver Shortage

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  #12360  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2019, 7:34 PM
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Hell. Screw the 2-year "reimagine RTD" study. Looks like they fell on the solution right here:

1) Kill the R Line (B line is fine because DTP has found a way to keep their staffing levels up). Turn the line into a migrant detention facility as a revenue generator for RTD.

2) Knock off the bottom 10% of bus routes and replace the service areas with FlexRide. Which also knocks off the CDL requirement. Contract out FlexRide to to avoid union-imposed costs.
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