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  #12421  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2019, 6:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Like this?
You're asking ME to defend RTD?

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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Per passenger subsidy for this service is $19.97 and the average fare is $1.14.
That service needs to be shit-canned.

My K.C. post does point out the (repeated) failure of basic bus routes in the Suburbs where at least this micro-transit option has been a popular success.

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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
The perception is more of a mobility option of last resort than a viable commuting alternative. But how to change this so the working poor flock en mass instead of making poor financial decisions? Offering the service via Uber is certainly an option.
Well stated.

I don't have ALL the answers and some things are best left to people much smarter than I am. Seattle has started using micro-transit as a first and last mile access to light rail stations (as I understand it) and that also is apparently going very well.

Lastly, five-tenths percent sales tax is a significant chunk of money. If they can't find a transit mode that actually performs well then there's a whole lot of things that Westminster (et al) could use that money to accomplish.

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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
As to the point about having municipalities run their own local bus services with a regional agency handling cross-border ones, broadly I think that's a good idea, with a few caveats that we can discuss if you want to.
You must be getting old; you're too 'old-fashioned'.
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  #12422  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2019, 8:01 PM
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Mighty impressive suburban TOD


Rendering courtesy Stantec via CREJ

Stantec to develop regional headquarters campus for Kiewit Corp. in RidgeGate
October 28, 2019 By Kris Oppermann Stern - CREJ
Quote:
Stantec is serving as the architect and interior designer for the new regional headquarters campus for Kiewit Corp., one of North America’s largest construction and engineering organizations. The approximately 400,000-square-foot office complex is designed to accommodate more than 1,700 employees, enabling Kiewit to grow its presence in Denver and consolidate its existing employees, while providing flexibility for future growth.

“We designed this facility as a long-term investment for Kiewit, set to comfortably accommodate today’s top-tier talent but with the flexibility to adapt to future growth,” said Cindy Harvey, Stantec principal based in Denver.
Gotta hand it to Lone Tree; their long-term planning is paying off in spades.
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  #12423  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2019, 9:29 PM
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I literally posted photos of transit agencies with tiny buses on the previous page.
Not so tiny but I liked this one.
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Vanpools are more common, although there's a fairly narrow niche where it makes sense to run a lot of these, but not to run real bus service:


image by lillypix on flickr
It's a fact that suburban routes with fixed stops (perhaps with rare exception) have poor ridership so it's a total waste of money. Wasting taxpayer money just because you have it, is silly. Find something productive to do with that hard-earned money or return it to the taxpayers.

Just spit-balling here but if more appropriate-sized buses picked passengers up where they lived that's half the problem solved. Along arterial roads it seems logical to stop at apartment complexes - if an app-based ride has been requested.

So you only go where riders are and with (Uber's) algorithm the rider(s) receive an ETA (which can be updated in real time) and are expected to be 'toes to the curb' when bus pulls up. Some apartments at peak times might have half-dozen riders. If the bus fills up after four stops then it's off to the light rail station which solves another huge complaint - too many stops and too much time.

Then you have another bus coming along that can be directed to riders that were passed up by the last bus and when that bus fills up you're off to the LRT station. Rinse and repeat.

Yes, it's not as efficient as Big Bertha buses that nobody rides - so it's obviously time to try something different. As I mentioned previously 'time and convenience' are just as important to the Working Poor as anybody else and they will happily pay a little more for service they like and appreciate.
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  #12424  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 2:13 AM
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Just spit-balling here but if more appropriate-sized buses picked passengers up where they lived that's half the problem solved. Along arterial roads it seems logical to stop at apartment complexes - if an app-based ride has been requested.

So you only go where riders are and with (Uber's) algorithm the rider(s) receive an ETA (which can be updated in real time) and are expected to be 'toes to the curb' when bus pulls up. Some apartments at peak times might have half-dozen riders. If the bus fills up after four stops then it's off to the light rail station which solves another huge complaint - too many stops and too much time.
The biggest advantage of this approach to transit is it solves the biggest problems for why people don't ride big buses along routes with fixed stops.
  • Lack of convenient access is why most people don't even bother
  • Too many stops; it takes too long to get to where you need to go
It would take some time, six months to a year for people to become aware of the option, try it, adopt it. During this time the algorithm would continue to collect data on where people are coming from and where they are going which would allow for making adjustments to improve the service.

The ideal is for 15 to 20-passenger vehicles to focus on higher density arterial corridors while 8 to 10-passenger vans focus on serving neighborhoods where the service is desired.

I've even decided on how to handle (introductory) fares. Everybody pays a $2.50 fee plus 25 cents per mile. So if you're going 4 miles it would cost $3.50; if you're going 8 miles it would cost $4.50 and so on. After a year the per mile cost might need to be raised to say 40 or 50 cents a mile which is still very attractive for service that people would actually appreciate.

Just for grins and to demonstrate how different Phoenix is, I spent Friday and Saturday at Home Depot's Garden Center picking out plants to transplant to get me through until end of February, 1st of March. Having previously picked up some Vinca plants I added Snap Dragons, Petunia's and some Celosia which have nice fall colors. When I went back on Saturday to pick up a couple more plants the place was jam-packed and busy. Just goes to show how different life in the desert is.

With my fall cleaning finished and now my planting done, I'm ready to drive.
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  #12425  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 5:32 AM
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TOD at Westminster Station

https://denverite.com/2019/11/03/a-d...nster-station/
Quote:
The Urban Land Conservancy, a Denver-based real estate nonprofit, has snapped up transit-oriented property in Westminster on which it envisions a development with homes for both renters and buyers and its signature mix of uses and income levels.

“We don’t have a lot of affordable housing along the transit corridor that is home ownership,” Bustos said. “We think that’s what’s missing.”
Some of the housing will be offered at market rates. Bustos said offering housing for a range of incomes “creates a better balance for the community.”

“That diversity in what they (Urban Land Conservancy) can bring to the table is really nice,” said Jenni Grafton, the housing and transit-oriented development manager for Westminster’s city government.

The site is in a 58-acre area where Westminster officials expect major growth and investment in coming years, in part because it is anchored by the transit station
A good amount of continued patience and I have no doubt that FasTracks will ultimately pay off in spades.
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  #12426  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 6:30 PM
SirLucasTheGreat SirLucasTheGreat is online now
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https://denverite.com/2019/11/04/we-...-second-worst/

Fascinating article from Denverite ranking 28 train stations. I'm really interested to see Broadway Station, 38th and Blake, and Belleview station climb up this ranking.
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  #12427  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2019, 6:17 PM
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What's wrong with this picture?


Image courtesy of Westword

Addressing the current state of RTD, Chase Woodruff - Westword has a rather long, meandering retrospective with standard transit 'wisdom' that for the uninitiated may be a worthy read.

Thinking of San Diego as being a very good peer city comparison I checked into their financial performance. In 2018 they had a recover rate of just under 40% excluding depreciation and a recovery ratio of nearly 26% after depreciation is included which would compare to RTD's 18.5%. While not ideal a ratio of 25% should be the absolute minimum.

What's wrong with this picture?

Everyone should ride RTD buses?
Why is that?
Because we say so!
What if it's not convenient or useful to people?
Doesn't matter; everyone should ride da bus.
Have you ever considered making the service more useful to people?
Why would we do that?

Picture some young entrepreneurs meeting with a room full of Venture Capitalists asking for hundreds of millions of $'s using the same logic as transit agencies? Either laughter or total confusion would be the response.

But this is Public Transportation; it's a gift to the poor people.
But poor people are no more likely to use transit if it's not useful.
Well everybody should ride our buses.
I know: because you say so.

Have you ever considered creating a 'public' system that would actually be useful and popular and approach 100% recovery ratio - before depreciation?
Nah, that's too hard. Everybody should ride the bus.
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  #12428  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2019, 8:26 PM
twister244 twister244 is offline
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
What's wrong with this picture?


Image courtesy of Westword

Addressing the current state of RTD, Chase Woodruff - Westword has a rather long, meandering retrospective with standard transit 'wisdom' that for the uninitiated may be a worthy read.

Thinking of San Diego as being a very good peer city comparison I checked into their financial performance. In 2018 they had a recover rate of just under 40% excluding depreciation and a recovery ratio of nearly 26% after depreciation is included which would compare to RTD's 18.5%. While not ideal a ratio of 25% should be the absolute minimum.

What's wrong with this picture?

Everyone should ride RTD buses?
Why is that?
Because we say so!
What if it's not convenient or useful to people?
Doesn't matter; everyone should ride da bus.
Have you ever considered making the service more useful to people?
Why would we do that?

Picture some young entrepreneurs meeting with a room full of Venture Capitalists asking for hundreds of millions of $'s using the same logic as transit agencies? Either laughter or total confusion would be the response.

But this is Public Transportation; it's a gift to the poor people.
But poor people are no more likely to use transit if it's not useful.
Well everybody should ride our buses.
I know: because you say so.

Have you ever considered creating a 'public' system that would actually be useful and popular and approach 100% recovery ratio - before depreciation?
Nah, that's too hard. Everybody should ride the bus.
Maybe because there's absolutely nothing wrong with riding a bus. There's a reason the Flatiron Flyer is successful - It runs frequently enough that folks don't have to worry about missing a beat. The FF2 express runs every 10 minutes during rush hours. And if you had the option to get to work like that if you commuted from Denver to Boulder, you would do it too. I now take the FF6 with my new job and I wouldn't trade it for a car and having to sit in traffic any day. This is the story that RTD needs to be running with. I say RTD should be looking to partner with the tech industry to establish pilots for autonomous buses as well.
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  #12429  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2019, 8:39 PM
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Does the author honestly think RTD doesn't want to improve service? Sounds like a dimwit.
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  #12430  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2019, 11:28 PM
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Bingo
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Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
Maybe because there's absolutely nothing wrong with riding a bus. There's a reason the Flatiron Flyer is successful - It runs frequently enough that folks don't have to worry about missing a beat. The FF2 express runs every 10 minutes during rush hours. And if you had the option to get to work like that if you commuted from Denver to Boulder, you would do it too. I now take the FF6 with my new job and I wouldn't trade it for a car and having to sit in traffic any day. This is the story that RTD needs to be running with. I say RTD should be looking to partner with the tech industry to establish pilots for autonomous buses as well.
Nice comment.

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Does the author honestly think RTD doesn't want to improve service? Sounds like a dimwit.
Non-responsive but at least you're funny. I needed a nice hearty belly-laugh.
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  #12431  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2019, 4:38 AM
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Some follow-up from tonight's Streetsblog piece

Quote:
Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
Maybe because there's absolutely nothing wrong with riding a bus. There's a reason the Flatiron Flyer is successful - It runs frequently enough that folks don't have to worry about missing a beat. The FF2 express runs every 10 minutes during rush hours. And if you had the option to get to work like that if you commuted from Denver to Boulder, you would do it too. I now take the FF6 with my new job and I wouldn't trade it for a car and having to sit in traffic any day. This is the story that RTD needs to be running with. I say RTD should be looking to partner with the tech industry to establish pilots for autonomous buses as well.
https://denver.streetsblog.org/2019/...ate-emergency/
Quote:
Although the Regional Transportation District is set to see its fifth straight year of ridership declines, Katz points to people flocking to new transit services that provide a better experience to riders, including the A line airport train, Bustang regional bus service and the Flatiron Flyer between Denver and Boulder.

“The Flatiorn Flyer is a good example. It takes thousands of people a day on the U.S. 36 corridor. It’s convenient. It’s timely. It goes to where people need to go,” he said while suggesting that similar service could cover Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard and transportation to ski resorts. “There are ways to move significant numbers of people via transit. We just need more of that.”
The Flatiron Flyer exceeded projections from the get-go and RTD had to order more coach buses used for that service. It was initial and quickly growing demand that allowed for more frequent service. Understand that most RTD buses aren't the nice coach buses that you ride.

Additionally, I've pounded the table for more BRT-style routes but there's no money presently to do this and because tax revenues have not met projections more cuts will be necessary.

It's not just RTD and Denver that has seen falling bus ridership. Starting in 2014 bus ridership has been in steady decline from coast to coast - except in Seattle and Houston where a one-time redesign of the system had a one-time bump in ridership. There's several reasons that come up in survey after survey across the country as to why people were dissatisfied with buses. It's not a big mystery but agencies assume that the way things have always been done is the only way they can be done. A caricature of an ostrich comes to mind.
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  #12432  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2019, 2:45 PM
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Imagine if we had true BRT on 36....

I have the opportunity to take the bus to work, but don't because there is no benefit. Between parking, walking to the bus stop and then waiting for the bus, and then sitting in the same traffic as my car, it is easier and faster to just drive. If we want people to ride buses, there needs to be a time benefit, so more bus lanes please.
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  #12433  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2019, 5:20 PM
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Originally Posted by trubador View Post
Imagine if we had true BRT on 36....

I have the opportunity to take the bus to work, but don't because there is no benefit. Between parking, walking to the bus stop and then waiting for the bus, and then sitting in the same traffic as my car, it is easier and faster to just drive. If we want people to ride buses, there needs to be a time benefit, so more bus lanes please.
See for me, it's a total win because I can work on the bus. A quick 3 minute walk to the 28 stop, 10 minutes to the US neighborhood. Grab Starbucks, walk onto the FF6, then get off a block from my office.....

If I drove, would I get to work faster? Sure, but only by about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, I am behind the wheel for 40-60 min stressing out, not getting anything done. I choose the former, as it's time I get back in my day. I totally agree that RTD should work on making true BRT happen, but I will still utilize what exists now.
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  #12434  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 12:30 AM
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CDOT blazing a new trail


A drone with the Colorado Department of Transportation flies over the Central 70 Project. (credit: CDOT) via CBS4


Video Link
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  #12435  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:34 PM
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Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
Maybe because there's absolutely nothing wrong with riding a bus. There's a reason the Flatiron Flyer is successful - It runs frequently enough that folks don't have to worry about missing a beat. The FF2 express runs every 10 minutes during rush hours.
I think frequency and timing is a big part of RTD's ridership problem and seems to be something they're not thinking about at all. I ride the W from Perry to the mall ride to work every morning and there are a couple really terrible things that happen:
  • For some reason every train departing Perry after the 8:10 is only two cars. The next two trains (8:25 and 8:40) will get you to Auraria or Union Station before 9, so people (like me) who want to get to the office or school right around 9 could take these trains IF THEY WEREN'T PACKED SOLID. I usually have to squeeze on. I stand in the doorways a lot because the train is full. The 8:10 is three cars and is never as full, but then I would have to wake up earlier. There's doesn't seem to be a reason for this beyond terrible planning. It sure doesn't make it attractive to commute and I'm sure convinces more than a few people to drive instead of taking transit around the same time.
  • The mall shuttles also do a shift change around 8:30. This means that when the light rail arrives at Union Station at 8:40 everyone waiting to get further up the mall stands there as multiple buses drive past (and they're definitely off shift - they go left on Wewatta and head towards the RTD HQ). When a shuttle on-shift finally does come it's immediately packed from the train or two that arrived since the last working shuttle, meaning that everyone getting off the commuter rail trains has to shove in or wait for the next (now-infrequent) bus.
These aren't even recent driver-shortage-caused issues, it's always been that way. The driver shortage has meant that apparently RTD just occasionally cancels one rush hour W with no warning. Like the 5:30 from Union Station the other night.
I assume most other lines and buses throughout RTD are the same, because I have heard similar complaints.

Anyway - this leads me to believe that the people in charge of planning and coordinating schedules at RTD are either really terrible at what they do, or sociopaths that hate people and the transit agency. The W has poor ridership, but maybe it would be better if RTD would acknowledge that rush hour continues until 9am and 6pm. I mean, the changes wouldn't be terrible - change mall ride shifts at 9:15 instead of 8:30. Run three car trains until 9:10 instead of 8:10 and until 6:15 instead of 5:15. Make it convenient for people to commute instead of blindly sticking to the same schedules.

I also wonder if increased frequency on all the lightrail from 7-9 and 4:30-6:30 would increase ridership... I know that they're struggling to find drivers, but if the FF can run every 10 minutes, why can't all the light rail lines? I know they're on shared tracks and it would require retiming a whole lot of systems, but if we're stuck with 15 minute timing on all lines I'm not sure that the current rail system will ever increase ridership.
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  #12436  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mojiferous View Post
I think frequency and timing is a big part of RTD's ridership problem and seems to be something they're not thinking about at all. I ride the W from Perry to the mall ride to work every morning and there are a couple really terrible things that happen:
  • For some reason every train departing Perry after the 8:10 is only two cars. The next two trains (8:25 and 8:40) will get you to Auraria or Union Station before 9, so people (like me) who want to get to the office or school right around 9 could take these trains IF THEY WEREN'T PACKED SOLID. I usually have to squeeze on. I stand in the doorways a lot because the train is full. The 8:10 is three cars and is never as full, but then I would have to wake up earlier. There's doesn't seem to be a reason for this beyond terrible planning. It sure doesn't make it attractive to commute and I'm sure convinces more than a few people to drive instead of taking transit around the same time.
  • The mall shuttles also do a shift change around 8:30. This means that when the light rail arrives at Union Station at 8:40 everyone waiting to get further up the mall stands there as multiple buses drive past (and they're definitely off shift - they go left on Wewatta and head towards the RTD HQ). When a shuttle on-shift finally does come it's immediately packed from the train or two that arrived since the last working shuttle, meaning that everyone getting off the commuter rail trains has to shove in or wait for the next (now-infrequent) bus.
These aren't even recent driver-shortage-caused issues, it's always been that way. The driver shortage has meant that apparently RTD just occasionally cancels one rush hour W with no warning. Like the 5:30 from Union Station the other night.
I assume most other lines and buses throughout RTD are the same, because I have heard similar complaints.

Anyway - this leads me to believe that the people in charge of planning and coordinating schedules at RTD are either really terrible at what they do, or sociopaths that hate people and the transit agency. The W has poor ridership, but maybe it would be better if RTD would acknowledge that rush hour continues until 9am and 6pm. I mean, the changes wouldn't be terrible - change mall ride shifts at 9:15 instead of 8:30. Run three car trains until 9:10 instead of 8:10 and until 6:15 instead of 5:15. Make it convenient for people to commute instead of blindly sticking to the same schedules.

I also wonder if increased frequency on all the lightrail from 7-9 and 4:30-6:30 would increase ridership... I know that they're struggling to find drivers, but if the FF can run every 10 minutes, why can't all the light rail lines? I know they're on shared tracks and it would require retiming a whole lot of systems, but if we're stuck with 15 minute timing on all lines I'm not sure that the current rail system will ever increase ridership.
So far the A Line has had ZERO cancellations- but it's operated by DTO and is outside of the ATU which raises a valid question. Is the fact that 55% of RTD's bus routes and all of the rail lines operated by union drivers not allowing enough flexibility to meet scheduling requirements? I haven't seen any data on this yet, and haven't dug, but are First Transit and Transdev suffering similar issues with driver retention and have contracted routes suffered from cancellations?
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  #12437  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2019, 6:14 PM
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Job applicants claim RTD is slow as molasses in responding to their job queries

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  #12438  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 10:38 PM
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Police: RTD Driver Assaulted By 2 Juveniles In Aurora
November 9, 2019
Quote:
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora police and RTD officials confirm to CBS4 a bus driver was assaulted on Thursday. Police say the driver fought off two juvenile attackers.

It happened just after noon at Havana Street and Bayaud Avenue. The driver suffered stab wounds and was taken to the hospital. It’s not clear how the driver is doing.

The two juveniles were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. It’s not clear if anyone faces charges.
The incident is still under investigation including video camera recordings.

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Originally Posted by Denver Dweller View Post
As pointed out in the article: government run means lots of red tape and rules as to who does what and what it takes to process people. The privately run guys seem to have less problems; what a surprise.
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  #12439  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2019, 2:52 PM
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Always dreamed of visiting with the Pope?

Nonstop flights from DIA to Rome to begin in late March
Nov 12, 2019 By: Stephanie Butzer - Denver7
Quote:
DENVER — Norwegian Air has announced new nonstop flights from Denver International Airport to Rome. The flights will start March 31, 2020. It will be Denver’s first-ever and only nonstop service to Italy. Nearly 40,000 people fly the 11 hours between Denver and Rome each year, according to DIA.

In the beginning, there will be two flights available each week, which will increase to three during the peak travel periods of late April to early October.
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  #12440  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2019, 6:08 PM
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No more free buffet for you

https://www.cpr.org/2019/11/15/every...n-budget-cuts/
Quote:
On most Tuesday afternoons, the Regional Transportation District’s board gathers for a free buffet in an out-of-the-way lobby before heading into their official meetings.

Soon, though, board members will have to pay for those meals: $10 charged to their personal expense account. It’s one way RTD is cutting costs as it tries to close a $40 million gap in its 2020 budget. The board is set to give its final sign-off to cuts in December.

“It seems like, pardon the expression, low-hanging fruit,” board chair Doug Tisdale said of the cost-savings plan at a committee meeting in October.
So when the economy is good then transit is in recession?
Quote:
The board is cutting $200,000 out of its own budget, limiting things like travel to professional conferences. Some capital projects will be put on hold, though it’s not yet clear which ones will be affected. RTD has $44 million in such projects planned for next year, including a new restroom for bus drivers in Aurora and new roof for its bus maintenance and storage facility north of downtown Denver.
So how bad is it?
Quote:
“Everybody is feeling the pain,” board member Angie Rivera-Malpiede said.

Merit-based pay raises for salaried employees will be cut in half, and their retirement plan could take a hit too. Most departments are reducing costs by 10 percent.
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