Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Thursday, August 04, 2005


The Regional Transportation District, aka RTD, is thinking about charging people to park at the park-and-rides, according to this article in the Denver Post. I think it's a good idea, particularly since RTD gets about 80 percent of its revenues from taxes, not fares. At that ratio, a 2 dollar ride should cost about $10. The only route in the whole system that turns a profit is the #15, which runs up and down, or should I say back and forth, East Colfax. I ran for the RTD board in 1998 and got 7.5 percent of the vote. You can find RTD's web site here. The skyRide is a pretty good deal. It takes you to DIA from various points for between $6 and $10 with free parking. Where else could you park free for a week?


Anonymous Daniel Ong said...

I think the B and BX (express) routes between downtown Denver and downtown Boulder might also turn a profit due to very high usage rates despite length (over thirty miles), but many use passes (I did; I had a mandatory fee from Auraria Higher Education Center based on overall student usage but my marginal cost is zero).

Nominal fares approximate marginal costs of driving, but this comparison doesn't include depreciation, maintenance, repair, roadway costs, subsidies for either, parking (yes), etc. Overall RTD usage would probably drop if parking was charged, reducing fare revenue and increasing per-passenger-trip costs, but charging for parking would better approximate market costs (and be an additional hassle, expense, and disadvantage to taking mass transit). My parents use light rail from far southwest metro area whenever they need to go downtown, but they get the senior discount.

A majority of voters several times have approved a sales tax for RTD subsidies, including light rail and park-and-ride expansion, despite my votes against it. I didn't use RTD when I worked in downtown Denver but have since when unemployed and my bus pass was active (marginal cost over convenience becomes very important). I've taken both the B and 15 to attend some CU Regents meetings out at Fitzsimons.

2:11 AM  

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