Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The @RideBustang Service continues to grow, further route expansion possible

Bustang bus in Colorado Springs. Image credit: Bustang/Instagram

 The CDOT-operated transit system, known as Bustang, continues to grow as people take the three lines radiating from Denver's Union Station to Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, and Colorado Springs. According to CDOT, Bustang has seen a nearly 25 percent jump between July and November compared with the same period in 2016. This is in addition to the rapid growth that has come in the transit system's two years. The success could lead to additional routes, including a possible Frisco-to-Steamboat Springs route. Other changes include the Bustang Outrider program, which will pull subsidized bus routes operated by Greyhound and other transit agencies under the Bustang banner.

Read more in the article from the Aspen Times.

CDOT, Arrivo and E-470 Announce Major Partnership to Build Hyperloop-Inspired Transportation System

Arrivo Denver Tubes. Image Credit: Nick Harper (CIG)
Yesterday a public-private partnership was announced to bring hyperloop-inspired infrastructure to the greater Denver region. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), E-470 Public Highway Authority, and the technology company Arrivo are partnering on a feasibility study and an Arrivo test site near E-470. Arrivo plans to start the first commercial route in Denver in the next four to five years.

The Arrivo system is similar to hyperloop in that passengers and freight would travel through tubes using magnetic levitation to reach destinations more quickly. Arrivo differs from hyperloop by focusing on regional distances, instead of the longer interregional distances proposed by hyperloop technology companies. Additionally, Arrivo would not use low-pressure tubes and speeds would be closer to 200 mph rather than the 700 mph expected from hyperloop.

Arrivo is based in Los Angeles, California and is focused on building next-generation transportation solutions. By 2020, Arrivo plans to build a Technology Center in the Denver Region and add up to 200 employees. CDOT is partnering via its RoadX program, which focuses on using innovative technology to eliminate crashes, injuries, and delays in travel across Colorado.

Read more about the partnership in CDOT's press release.

Front Range Trail between Fort Collins and Loveland officially opens

Image credit: NFRMPO Staff
On Tuesday afternoon elected officials and staff from the City of Fort Collins, The City of Loveland, and Larimer County held a ribbon cutting for a section of the Front Range Trail connecting the two cities. The trail was completed through a partnership between the three governments to construct the first shared-use trail from Fort Collins to Loveland has been in the works since 2002. The project cost was $1.2M, with $800,000 in grant funding from state sources, $450,000 of which was awarded in the NFRMPO’s 2014 Call for Projects. A second connection between the two cities is expected to be completed by fall 2018 along the Long View Corridor, providing a similar route north-south route. Both projects are designated as Regional Non-Motorized Corridors in the NFRMPO's 2013 Regional Bicycle Plan and 2016 Non-Motorized Plan.

Read more from the Coloradoan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

US34 Canyon Open to all Traffic Thanksgiving Weekend

Image Credit: CDOT

US34 will temporarily re-open between Loveland and County Road 43 to grant access to and from Estes Park over Thanksgiving weekend. The highway will be open to all motorists from 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 22 until 8 p.m. Sunday, November 26. However, because the highway will remain as one lane for the temporary opening, significant delays are expected and drivers are encouraged to use US36 and SH66.

US34 will also temporarily open from December 23 to January 2 and is scheduled to permanently re-open just before Memorial Day 2018.

For more information, read the full article on the Colorado Department of Transportation website.


Public Meeting on 11/15 for US 34 PEL Study


Join us this Wednesday, November 15, at a public meeting in Loveland to get updates and provide input for improvements along the US 34 corridor. The US 34 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study is developing a plan of action to increase safety, improve mobility, and reduce congestion. The public meeting runs from 4-7 p.m. with presentations at 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Learn more at us34pel.codot.us.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Upgrades to transit fare collection improves system for users


Ventra fare gate. Image credit: CTA/Flickr

Across all forms of transportation, technology is playing a major role. In transit's case, the upgrading of fare collection systems is making it easier for people to ride. Moving to mobile apps and credit card technology reduces the manpower needed to keep up hardware, improves agencies ability to track patterns and usage, and can make it easier for visitors to use the system. Agencies from New York and Philadelphia to Chicago, Sydney and London, and others in-between are upgrading their fare collection systems - these large systems have to upgrade equipment, design new systems, and ensure it integrates to the transit agency's needs.

For more information, read the article on Governing.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Upcoming Public Meetings: US 34 PEL Study


There will be public meetings this Wednesday and next Wednesday as part of the US 34 Planning and Environmental Linkages Study (PEL). It is a chance to get updates and provide input for improvements along the US 34 Corridor. See the flyer above for more information.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Loveland to partner with Fort Collins to improve transit service

COLT Paratransit Vehicle. Image credit: COLT Staff

Transit has seen investment throughout Northern Colorado, from the introduction of MAX in 2014 to Greeley redrawing its transit routes in 2015. Loveland has moved along a proposal to improve transit, make it more efficient, and better serve transit riders. To do this, Loveland will revamp its paratransit to run under contract to Shamrock Taxi, similar to Transfort's Dial-a-Ride program, which will free up drivers. These drivers could then be used more efficiently to create a new commuter route, traveling along either US287 or US34. Paratransit usage has increased in previous years, so Loveland wants to ensure there is adequate funding to serve existing and future needs. The contract has been approved by Loveland City Council and awaits approval by the Fort Collins City Council.

More information is available by reading the article in the Coloradoan.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What does telecommuting's rise mean for traffic and transit?


Working from home is on the rise. Image Credit: Flickr
While most workers continue to commute to work by driving alone, an increasing share are working from home. In 2016, 5.0 percent of workers worked from home on a usual basis, up from 3.9 percent in 2006. The statistic includes telecommuting as well as home-based businesses, but excludes workers who telecommute occasionally. According to Governing, the percentage of the workforce working from home may soon exceed the percentage commuting by public transportation.

Telecommuting is increasing due to advances in technology, and is highest in regions with substantial tech and university employment. While increases in telecommuting will reduce some auto travel during peak periods, it may not have a large impact. It could also lead workers to live further from their workplace and increase the number of non-work trips.

Read more about the rise of telecommuting in Governing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Colorado ranked #6 Bicycle Friendly State in 2017

Top ten bike-friendly states for 2017 with historical rankings. Image credit: The League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists has released its 2017 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings and Colorado has improved to #6 out of all 50 states. The last ranking in 2015 had Colorado at #7.
Colorado was recognized as a top state for law, policy, and education with room for improvement in devoting transportation funds to bicycling. Colorado has ranked as high as #2 in 2013 and as low as #22 in 2008. It should be noted the methodology for these rankings has changed over the years. The 2017 rankings are based on:
  •         Infrastructure and Funding
  •         Education and Encouragement
  •          Legislation and Enforcement
  •          Policies and Programs
  •         Evaluation and Planning
In 2015 Governor John Hickenlooper announced a four-year initiative to make Colorado the #1 Bike State. The Colorado Pedals Project is a public and private effort to make it happen. Learn more about the current work and focus areas of this project from Bicycle Colorado.
Image credit: Bicycle Colorado