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Old 04-05-2014, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,720,954 times
Reputation: 1778

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ZOMBIE THREAD REVIVED!

I'll bet livecontent could answer this in a heartbeat, but I'm wondering what motivated the "zone" system? We're looking at a house that puts us just outside of "Local" (Zones A+B). Not a problem per se, but a few years ago I managed to talk my employer in to providing me an $80 transit pass as it was cheaper than our $120 parking passes...saved money, and helped me (just a little) to get a promotion.

If we move, however, they won't pay the $140 "Express" (Zone C) fare for me to get downtown...which is quite an impact on me financially under those circumstances (transport costs getting factored in to a new place to live.)

I know a couple people that actually drive *further* in to town to get cheaper park n' ride fare (Broadway, for example) rather than catching the train from Littleton. This seems counterproductive to me as it eats up park n' ride spots for people that live closer to those stations while increasing traffic density, pollution, etc... from the 'burbs.

Other than cost (which I'm sure is a major issue), are there other factors I'm not considering here? Is this something that has any chance of changing in the future, or is this aspect of RTD policy set in stone?

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:15 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 6,006,119 times
Reputation: 3407
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
ZOMBIE THREAD REVIVED!
. . .
I know a couple people that actually drive *further* in to town to get cheaper park n' ride fare (Broadway, for example) rather than catching the train from Littleton. . .
Sorry, can't helpfully answer your question, but a bit more info for you -

I know many people that drive further in to town rather than catching the train from Littleton because the park n rides at Mineral, and Littleton, and Belleview etc. are full.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:22 AM
 
7 posts, read 9,657 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
ZOMBIE THREAD REVIVED!

I'll bet livecontent could answer this in a heartbeat, but I'm wondering what motivated the "zone" system? We're looking at a house that puts us just outside of "Local" (Zones A+B). Not a problem per se, but a few years ago I managed to talk my employer in to providing me an $80 transit pass as it was cheaper than our $120 parking passes...saved money, and helped me (just a little) to get a promotion.

If we move, however, they won't pay the $140 "Express" (Zone C) fare for me to get downtown...which is quite an impact on me financially under those circumstances (transport costs getting factored in to a new place to live.)

I know a couple people that actually drive *further* in to town to get cheaper park n' ride fare (Broadway, for example) rather than catching the train from Littleton. This seems counterproductive to me as it eats up park n' ride spots for people that live closer to those stations while increasing traffic density, pollution, etc... from the 'burbs.

Other than cost (which I'm sure is a major issue), are there other factors I'm not considering here? Is this something that has any chance of changing in the future, or is this aspect of RTD policy set in stone?

Thanks!
If I had to guess I'd say its because outside the local zone you're going out into the suburbs and the population density and ridership isn't high enough the further out you go. It could change in the future, but I highly doubt it will. Maybe as the population continues to increase and the in progress lines are completed it might change.

Maybe your employer could offer an EcoPass? Where I work they pay most of it and I pay about 35 or so dollars a month and have full access to all the zones. Or you could bike into the local zone?
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,889,188 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
ZOMBIE THREAD REVIVED!

I'll bet livecontent could answer this in a heartbeat, but I'm wondering what motivated the "zone" system? We're looking at a house that puts us just outside of "Local" (Zones A+B). Not a problem per se, but a few years ago I managed to talk my employer in to providing me an $80 transit pass as it was cheaper than our $120 parking passes...saved money, and helped me (just a little) to get a promotion.

If we move, however, they won't pay the $140 "Express" (Zone C) fare for me to get downtown...which is quite an impact on me financially under those circumstances (transport costs getting factored in to a new place to live.)

I know a couple people that actually drive *further* in to town to get cheaper park n' ride fare (Broadway, for example) rather than catching the train from Littleton. This seems counterproductive to me as it eats up park n' ride spots for people that live closer to those stations while increasing traffic density, pollution, etc... from the 'burbs.

Other than cost (which I'm sure is a major issue), are there other factors I'm not considering here? Is this something that has any chance of changing in the future, or is this aspect of RTD policy set in stone?

Thanks!
It's simple. RTD has built less then half of the Fastracks system, and they are already a billion dollars over budget. There is close to a zero chance that voters will approve another sales tax increased, to bail them out. Rail systems are expensive to maintain. They need more money. They have no choice but to milk riders for every penny they can get. Expect higher fares in the future. More parking fees. More zone charges. More fees for everything else.

BTW, I'm not an anti-rail person. This is just an explanation, for why riding RTD costs so much.

Has RTD's FasTracks been worth it? No
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:19 PM
 
459 posts, read 675,475 times
Reputation: 726
I was fairly young when RTD did this but from my memory RTD did fare zones because the bus services they where replacing on those corridors were express and regional. To my knowledge that was the only thought that was put into it, but I could have been oversimplifying as I had a simple mind at that point in time.

From a fare equity standpoint it makes sense though. RTD needs to recoup a certain percentage from fares. They can charge everyone a higher fixed rate including those only going a few stops, or charge those who are travelling on the train further distances more. For this equity reason fare zones are much more common in Europe/Asia than they are in the US.

In the Denver metro it does create a scenario in which some people drive in further to park closer and pay less. However, that's not tenable long term as parking around those closer in stations is not infinite, RTD does not really have the money or revenue mechanisms in place to supply more parking, and it is also likely the supply of surface parking closer in will reduce over time as TOD starts to form in the areas.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,971 posts, read 12,498,481 times
Reputation: 8734
I rode on the Denver Light Rail about 2 years ago now. I liked it, and have been on numerous rail systems in this country and overseas. What I find odd about the Denver system though, is its high cost for a ticket. It just seemed out of sync with reality. People I spoke to all seemed to agree, the ticket prices are all over the place. I can see why many people would simply avoid it over its cost. Which is a shame, its a nice system. It get's one out of their car and out of the awful Denver traffic. Yet the system obviously doesn't seem interested, in implementing a more fair and sensible ticket price.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:19 AM
 
459 posts, read 675,475 times
Reputation: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
I rode on the Denver Light Rail about 2 years ago now. I liked it, and have been on numerous rail systems in this country and overseas. What I find odd about the Denver system though, is its high cost for a ticket. It just seemed out of sync with reality. People I spoke to all seemed to agree, the ticket prices are all over the place. I can see why many people would simply avoid it over its cost. Which is a shame, its a nice system. It get's one out of their car and out of the awful Denver traffic. Yet the system obviously doesn't seem interested, in implementing a more fair and sensible ticket price.
In your own backyard it costs $6.75 to take a commuter rail line 16.5 miles from Wilmington to Boston's North station.

In London depending on when you go it costs three to four pounds sixty (Roughly $5-$7.50) to take the tube 12.5 miles from Hounslow West Station to Picadilly Circus.

In Denver it costs $5 to take LRT 16.5 miles from County Line Station to Downtown Denver.

I'll admit I am comparing apples to oranges and bananas here since Light Rail is neither commuter rail or heavy rail (Tube). However, the way Denver uses Light Rail is kind of a cross between the two as it spreads far out from the urban area and acts as a hybrid commuter/urban system.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,889,188 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgoodman View Post
From a fare equity standpoint it makes sense though. RTD needs to recoup a certain percentage from fares. They can charge everyone a higher fixed rate including those only going a few stops, or charge those who are travelling on the train further distances more. For this equity reason fare zones are much more common in Europe/Asia than they are in the US.
The problem is that there is no equity in RTDs fare zones. If you ride from Oxford in Englewood to I-25 & Broadway, that is the equivalent of a 20 minute local bus ride. But RTD charges a 3 zone Express fare to travel those 3 stops on the light rail. Zone C to Zone A.

Another rider could travel from Yale on the southeast line to Garrison in Lakewood on the west line (a distance of 12 miles, 14 stops and a transfer) for a 2 zone local fare. Zone B to Zone A to Zone B. Before the west line opened, RTD ran the 6X express bus between those areas.

So what was a local bus ride before light rail became an express fare on light rail. What was an express bus ride became a local fare on light rail. There is no sense to the system. RTD is just gouging certain riders, to get more money.


Last edited by KaaBoom; 04-07-2014 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:23 AM
 
459 posts, read 675,475 times
Reputation: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
The problem is that there is no equity in RTDs fare zones. If you ride from Oxford in Englewood to I-25 & Broadway, that is the equivalent of a 20 minute local bus ride. But RTD charges a 3 zone Express fare to travel those 3 stops on the light rail. Zone C to Zone A.

Another rider could travel from Yale on the southeast line to Garrison in Lakewood on the west line (a distance of 12 miles, 14 stops and a transfer) for a 2 zone local fare. Zone B to Zone A to Zone B. Before the west line opened, RTD ran the 6X express bus between those areas.

So what was a local bus ride before light rail became an express fare on light rail. What was an express bus ride became a local fare on light rail. There is no sense to the system. RTD is just gouging certain riders, to get more money.
Yes they are inconsistent with the application of zones. So are most transit systems that implement zones. What's your point?
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,889,188 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgoodman View Post
Yes they are inconsistent with the application of zones. So are most transit systems that implement zones. What's your point?
The point is that there is no equity or sense to the system. There is also no precedent for charging zone fares on light rail. No other US city does that. So if by "most transit systems that implement zones" you mean only RTD, then yes your statement is technically correct.
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