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  #11501  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2018, 9:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BG918 View Post
I work near the G Line and could use it as an alternative to driving, alas.. Seriously what is the hold up and what is the latest timeline for opening? I've noticed trains running more frequently along the line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PLANSIT View Post
They typically open these lines on or around the three yearly run boards to coincide with the usually substantial bus service changes. August changes are now final. So, next one is this winter sometime.
Increased Testing On G Line Garnering Lots Of Questions
August 15, 2018 (CBS4)
Quote:
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Neighbors in Wheat Ridge and Arvada are noticing increased testing of the new G Line. RTD employees say they’ve been getting a lot of questions about the new trains and their loud horns.
How's the testing going?
Quote:
RTD says the testing is in the final stages, but it’s still not clear when the 11 mile line will officially open.

When it does, the trains will run every 15 minutes from 4 a.m. until just after midnight every day between downtown Denver and Wheat Ridge.
Meanwhile...
2020 Is RTD's New 'Ballpark' Estimate For North Metro Rail Line
AUG 13, 2018 BY NATHANIEL MINOR/CPR
Quote:
RTD estimates its future commuter rail line from Denver to the northern suburbs won’t open until the spring of 2020... And the new approximation is just that — an approximation, said Lisa Trujillo, RTD’s project outreach manager for the N Line. “That’s a ballpark figure,” Trujillo said. “We are not ready to announce any date at this time.”
This line was delayed as both RTD and the contractor filed lawsuits against each other over delays. They made nice with the help of arbitration. The N Line is considered to be 85% complete.
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  #11502  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2018, 8:22 PM
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It dawned on me last night that...

'State Ballot Initiative 153' should generate the same $'s for Denver transportation as the parks proposal that will be on the Denver ballot; that is estimated to generate $46 million a year. If the .62 percent State sales tax increase for transportation passes, 40% will go to local jurisdictions; forty percent of .62 would be .248% or virtually the same as the Denver parks proposal for .25% sales tax increase.

Now, how Denver would decide to use that $46 million in transportation revenue is a whole other question?
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  #11503  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2018, 4:00 PM
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It would be enough to finance a LRT subway tunnel from Union Station to Civic Center Station, followed by at-grade line from Civic Center to Cherry Creek. It wouldn't fund extending that subway from Civic Center to I-25/Broadway Station. Eventually that would have to be done so that LRT Lines from SW and SE corridors could divide demand between lines using the CPV, Central and Civic Center Subway corridors for entry into downtown. This in turn would also relieve congestion on the 16th Street Mall Ride. The Mall Ride would then serve as a final 1/4 mile service from the subway stations, instead as a forced transfer end-to-end corridor.
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  #11504  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2018, 4:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SnyderBock View Post
It would be enough to finance a LRT subway tunnel from Union Station to Civic Center Station, followed by at-grade line from Civic Center to Cherry Creek. It wouldn't fund extending that subway from Civic Center to I-25/Broadway Station. Eventually that would have to be done so that LRT Lines from SW and SE corridors could divide demand between lines using the CPV, Central and Civic Center Subway corridors for entry into downtown. This in turn would also relieve congestion on the 16th Street Mall Ride. The Mall Ride would then serve as a final 1/4 mile service from the subway stations, instead as a forced transfer end-to-end corridor.
It's about $800M in funding- which is probably just the LRT subway tunnel through DT. But, that precludes any monies spent on BRT corridors, road repairs, pedestrian improvements, bike lanes, etc. That $46M/yr would be better spent elsewhere.

If this park tax passes, I would hope the city immediately earmarks the general funds that were used for Parks & Rec to transportation instead.
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  #11505  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2018, 8:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
It's about $800M in funding- which is probably just the LRT subway tunnel through DT. But, that precludes any monies spent on BRT corridors, road repairs, pedestrian improvements, bike lanes, etc. That $46M/yr would be better spent elsewhere.
Don't forget that Elevate Denver Bonds will spend ~$450 million on 290 transportation projects.

The good news is that Denver/RTD hasn't yet identified all the needed funding for East Colfax BRT and is hoping for FTA approval of matching grant money, so passing Initiative #153 could assure moving forward on this project.
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  #11506  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2018, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
If this park tax passes, I would hope the city immediately earmarks the general funds that were used for Parks & Rec to transportation instead.
You can't do that; you're conflating issues.

Per Denverite
Quote:
The money would go toward new land purchases; improvements at parks; restoration of waterways; planting and maintenance of trees; and maintenance of open spaces.
Seattle spends well over twice as much per resident on their parks and open space. Parks are an invaluable city resource that should serve all neighborhoods. Creating better equity or access in underserved areas is one of the goals. Parks serve many purposes including:
Quote:
Parks are important environmental infrastructure. Parks and green space cool our cities, they clean the air we breathe and they help us manage stormwater. ... Parks and green space absorb or soak up excess water in the environment, reducing the physical, social and economic impacts of storm damage due to flooding.
Some have devoted their lives to making Denver more livable.
Quote:
Jeff Shoemaker, whose father was essential in creating the city’s greenway system, said it was a “historic, significant” evening that was a decade in the making. Denver is the only metro county that doesn’t have a dedicated parks funding source, he said.
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  #11507  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2018, 5:07 PM
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Source

Denver Light & Commuter Rail Are Cranking

It only took until August for APTA to publish 1st quarter numbers but they look solid:
  • Light Rail up over 9% with 6.3 million trips
  • Commuter Rail up 15.8% with 1.7 million trips
Baltimore and Charlotte joined Denver in the light rail Good News column but Charlotte also opened their Lynx Blue Line extension.

Bus ridership continued its ugly trend down 6% with 15.7 million trips.

Consider this:
Light and commuter rail now carry just over 50% of the ridership of all buses. RTD has a total number of 142 fixed routes including 10 light and commuter rail lines.
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  #11508  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2018, 6:12 PM
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Let's compare Denver with some peer cities

2017 year-end totals for passenger trips combining light and commuter rail
  • Phoenix - 16.3 million - no change
  • San Diego - 37.2 million million - down 2.25%
  • Denver - 32.0 million - up 10.7%
  • Twin Cities - 23.8 million - up 3.7%
  • Portland - 39.6 million - down 2.7%
  • Dallas - 31.9 million - up .75%
  • Seattle - 29.9 million - up 16.8%
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  #11509  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2018, 6:52 PM
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Finally let's compare bus ridership with various cities

2017 year-end totals for passenger trips and change
  • Phoenix - 34.75 million - up 6.2%
  • San Diego - 48.8 million - down 4.4%
  • Denver - 65.8 million - down 6.5%
  • Twin Cities - 57.3 million - down 2.75%
  • Las Vegas - 63.3 million - down 2%
  • Portland - 57.4 million - down 1.5%
  • Dallas - 31.7 million - down 3.8%
  • Houston - 66.1 million - down .7%
  • Seattle - 102.1 million - up .25%
All numbers per APTA
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  #11510  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2018, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
But, that precludes any monies spent on BRT corridors, road repairs, pedestrian improvements, bike lanes, etc. That $46M/yr would be better spent elsewhere.
It would be better for major projects like light rail or subways to be primarily funded by or substantially shared with RTD.

Never is it hard to spend money and I'd be happy to help.

They could easily accelerate curing the backlog of deferred road repaving & maintenance (highly likely). Also, there were transportation projects that didn't make the bond priority cut and a few were only partially funded. Alameda at I-25 comes to mind. Brighton Blvd Phase 3 comes to mind assuming Phase 2 has been funded. I'd have to dig into what didn't make the cut; too lazy.

I could see Denver taking your advice to rob Peter, not from ordinary budgeting but rather from the (General Fund) Capital Improvements Program. The annual CIP typically has about $11 million (extra) to play with. They could forego spending for both Parks and Transportation if both initiatives pass. I'm sure the Mayor can think of lots of ways to spend money for the upcoming National Western Center for example.

Woot woot, despite early (10:35 am) start in Atlanta, the Rockies have swept the Braves winning today's game 4-2.

Correction: You know how you can type in a few key search words and often come up with needed info without actually clicking on a specific site? Well I originally pulled up $160 million for annual CIP spending. Didn't feel right so I went to the six-year Elevate 2020 budget projections. Turns out they have about $85 million in revenue to spend but the majority of that is already committed, primarily for ongoing maintenance programs. Available discretionary funds are only about $11 million per year through 2020.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Aug 19, 2018 at 10:00 PM.
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  #11511  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2018, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Finally let's compare bus ridership with various cities

2017 year-end totals for passenger trips and change
  • Phoenix - 34.75 million - up 6.2%
  • San Diego - 48.8 million - down 4.4%
  • Denver - 65.8 million - down 6.5%
  • Twin Cities - 57.3 million - down 2.75%
  • Las Vegas - 63.3 million - down 2%
  • Portland - 57.4 million - down 1.5%
  • Dallas - 31.7 million - down 3.8%
  • Houston - 66.1 million - down .7%
  • Seattle - 102.1 million - up .25%
All numbers per APTA
Seattle was 139 million....both Sound Transit (regional) and Metro (King County) run buses. Also you omitted trolley buses for Metro.
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  #11512  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2018, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Seattle was 139 million....both Sound Transit (regional) and Metro (King County) run buses. Also you omitted trolley buses for Metro.
Trolley buses weren't relevant as Denver has neither trolleys ie streetcars or trolley buses.

I could have recalled your previous post but I just threw this together from APTA's data and with respect to buses used the section on "LARGEST BUS AGENCIES" which listed King County but not Sound Transit. It's likely among the long, detailed section that I didn't bother with.

In any case, corrections and input always welcome.
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  #11513  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2018, 9:33 PM
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RTD has a BIG Budget

2018 Anticipated Expenditures:
Source: http://www.rtd-denver.com/fare-review.shtml
  • Bus Operations - $144.1 million
  • Rail Operations - $126.5 million
  • Private Carrier Operations - $104.3 million
  • Access-a-Ride Operations - $47.5 million
  • Other Operating Costs - $253.2 million
  • New Capital - $187.8 million
  • Interest - $174.6 million
  • Debt - $64.7 million
  • Reserves - $197.7 million
  • Total = $1.3 billion
Unsurprisingly, there's no shortage of critics. A few gems: https://www.westword.com/news/rtd-is...gh-in-10564917
Quote:
Says Bill:
The problem with the people running RTD in Denver is that they have forgotten that the service is supposed to be a public service, and not a lining-their-pockets service.
Adds Patrick:
I think they should complete the routes they promised before talking about raising fares. What about the businesses in Olde Town Arvada that built, remodeled or expanded based upon the fall 2016 opening of the G line?
Suggests Pam:
They need to improve things before they raise fares. I was in Minneapolis; each bus stop downtown had a screen that listed all the upcoming buses and what time they should be there. It was slightly cheaper than here, too.
then there's this from Chris:
I will never trust RTD again. Still waiting for the train up to Boulder and beyond. Busses suck. You lie and cheat. You are not serving the people. I hate RTD. Rot in hell.
Hey everybody, chill and Don't worry be Happy
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  #11514  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2018, 5:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
RTD has a BIG Budget

2018 Anticipated Expenditures:
Source: http://www.rtd-denver.com/fare-review.shtml
  • Bus Operations - $144.1 million
  • Rail Operations - $126.5 million
  • Private Carrier Operations - $104.3 million
  • Access-a-Ride Operations - $47.5 million
  • Other Operating Costs - $253.2 million
  • New Capital - $187.8 million
  • Interest - $174.6 million
  • Debt - $64.7 million
  • Reserves - $197.7 million
  • Total = $1.3 billion
Unsurprisingly, there's no shortage of critics. A few gems: https://www.westword.com/news/rtd-is...gh-in-10564917

Hey everybody, chill and Don't worry be Happy
I don't blame people from being angry. When you get into the RTD budget and aren't just looking at the debt and interest they lay out there (items within "other" and reserves), RTD is spending more on debt service and executive comp. than core bus and rail operations combined. This is even before the principal repayments on about $2.8B of debt related mostly to FastTracks has even begun (2019 earliest start). Not really a recipe for successfully improving existing service.

It seems as though this fare increase really is to cover the increased debt and interest costs (bus and rail ops costs up only 1.4% per year) associated with the capital required to build out lines all at once that will take too long to develop and bring in the revenues required. All the while failing to improve the existing bus services that carry the vast majority of the public.
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  #11515  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2018, 6:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ddvmke View Post
I don't blame people from being angry. When you get into the RTD budget and aren't just looking at the debt and interest they lay out there (items within "other" and reserves), RTD is spending more on debt service and executive comp. than core bus and rail operations combined. This is even before the principal repayments on about $2.8B of debt related mostly to FastTracks has even begun (2019 earliest start). Not really a recipe for successfully improving existing service.
Do you have a breakdown on that? It doesn't quite jive from what i'm seeing in the budget.

Quote:
It seems as though this fare increase really is to cover the increased debt and interest costs (bus and rail ops costs up only 1.4% per year) associated with the capital required to build out lines all at once that will take too long to develop and bring in the revenues required. All the while failing to improve the existing bus services that carry the vast majority of the public.
I feel like this fare increase is more of a subsidy payment to the special interests who have been whining for years about transit equality (i.e. welfare) for the poor. RTD is jacking up general fares to pay for all of the subsidized goodies that are being proposed for the lower classes. In my mind this, and the recent moves for disabled access (the stroller policy and seat removal, are example of how RTD is beholden to two special interests: welfare advocates and disabled community.
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  #11516  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2018, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddvmke View Post
It seems as though this fare increase really is to cover the increased debt and interest costs (bus and rail ops costs up only 1.4% per year) associated with the capital required to build out lines all at once that will take too long to develop and bring in the revenues required. All the while failing to improve the existing bus services that carry the vast majority of the public.
Great question and concerns.

With respect to the so-called fare increases
There's a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what is really a fare-restructuring that RTD is requiring be revenue-neutral.

Per Nora Olabi/Westword
Quote:
After the Denver Post and other outlets reported last week that the Regional Transportation District is going to raise local, regional and airport fares to make up for new discount programs that support low-income and youth riders, RTD has been on the offensive to clear up what it says is a misrepresentation of a proposal.

RTD's message: The issue is a lot more nuanced.
There's been heavy lobbying and pressure to lower fares for some riders. Because RTD is insisting that any changes be revenue-neutral they have to raise rates on some riders to pay for lowering rates for other riders.

For a more indepth look, David Sachs/Streetsblog Denver has provided some great analysis. It's waay over my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Do you have a breakdown on that? It doesn't quite jive from what i'm seeing in the budget.

I feel like this fare increase is more of a subsidy payment to the special interests who have been whining for years about transit equality (i.e. welfare) for the poor. RTD is jacking up general fares to pay for all of the subsidized goodies that are being proposed for the lower classes. In my mind this, and the recent moves for disabled access (the stroller policy and seat removal, are example of how RTD is beholden to two special interests: welfare advocates and disabled community.
I wouldn't disagree.
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  #11517  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Do you have a breakdown on that? It doesn't quite jive from what i'm seeing in the budget.



I feel like this fare increase is more of a subsidy payment to the special interests who have been whining for years about transit equality (i.e. welfare) for the poor. RTD is jacking up general fares to pay for all of the subsidized goodies that are being proposed for the lower classes. In my mind this, and the recent moves for disabled access (the stroller policy and seat removal, are example of how RTD is beholden to two special interests: welfare advocates and disabled community.
Totally Agree!!
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  #11518  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2018, 3:26 AM
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If they raise the A-line fare much more I might just go back to taking the super shuttle or driving to the airport. 9$ is already high. It's 3$ in Seattle from downtown to the airport. Thought the point of the train was to get people off the roads. Raise the fare and people will seek alternatives like hopping back in their cars or ubers. The trains a fixed cost as far as I know, its running regardless of how many people are aboard. A fare from a customer is better than no fare for RTD.
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  #11519  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2018, 8:19 PM
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It will be decades before we'll see self-driving cars with passengers, right?
Don't tell that to Lyft and Aptiv in Las Vegas.


Photo courtesy Isaac Brekken for Aptiv via The Verge

Lyft and Aptiv have completed 5,000 paid trips in their self-driving taxis
Aug 21, 2018 By Andrew J. Hawkins/The Verge
Quote:
Lyft and self-driving technology company Aptiv have been operating a small fleet of self-driving cars in Las Vegas since the Consumer Electronics Show last January. And today, the companies say they’ve reached a new milestone in their partnership: 5,000 paid rides.
Are they using backup drivers?
Quote:
A backup driver remains behind the wheel to take control when needed. The companies wouldn’t say how many disengagements, when the vehicle forces the human driver to take the wheel, they’ve recorded over the course of the operation so far, nor would they disclose the total miles driven.
It's an interesting start though, no?
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  #11520  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2018, 2:38 AM
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Headlines, Deadlines and Destinations


Photo: Denver International Airport via Aviation Today

DFW Joins Elite Airport Club as Destination List Reaches 200
March 7, 2013 - Airlines and Destinations
Quote:
In reaching 200 destinations, DFW joins a select group of airports with that distinction. These include Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (MUC).
Dude, that headline is over five years old. Anything more recent?
Oh, well let me check and see, Dudette.

Denver becomes one of only four U.S. airports to service 200 destinations
21 August 2018 By International Airport Review
Quote:
Denver International Airport (DEN) will soon offer services to 200 destinations worldwide, topping the 200-mark for the first time in Denver aviation history. In addition to new international flights to Paris and Zurich, DEN has also experienced significant growth in domestic air service in 2018. Four airlines have added service to 17 U.S. destinations
Dude, I like this. Anything else that's interesting and noteworthy?
Well if you like that Dudette, then you should also like this.
Quote:
With the most recent additions, DEN will offer service to 175 domestic destinations, just one destination behind Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) which are tied as the U.S. airports with non-stop service to the most domestic destinations (176).

DEN stands alone in first place in terms of non-stop domestic destinations west of the Mississippi River with 117 markets served. DFW is second with 103, followed by Los Angeles (LAX) with 81.
Dude, that's some good sleuthing.
Thank you Dudette. Can we go home now?
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