Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I have no knowledge of the specifics, so I have no opinion, but the general problem of states and local authorities having to cut services in the face of recession is a frustrating one.

It's painful to contemplate any cutbacks in transit at a time when rising fuel prices are helping RTD cure the "one car, one rider" malady that threatens both the economy and the environment of metro Denver.

However, the Regional Transportation District's plan to trim off-peak service on some under-performing routes to maintain the robust growth in its commuter service is necessary.

The proposed service cuts will be discussed in public hearings next month. If approved, they'll go into effect in August.

The same soaring fuel costs that are prompting many residents to take the light rail or bus to work are also sending RTD's own fuel bills soaring while depressing the sales tax collections that subsidize RTD service.

In very general terms I'm in favor of, as much as possible, beefing up high performing routes and demonstrating a commitment to maintaining service on them so as to encourage people, over the longer run, to locate themselves near those routes. Half-ass bus service isn't enough to impact location decisions all that much, but a commitment to rail or high frequency bus service might be.