A Note From Us During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At Commuting Solutions we’ve taken several steps to make certain our staff, clients and partners remain healthy as we comply with federalstate, regional, and local recommendations for social distancing and health recommendations. We’re committed to doing our part to minimize the spread of the virus. Here’s how we’re managing right now.

Commuting Solutions operations continue with all staff working from home. To contact our team, email is the most efficient way to reach us.

Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director:
audrey@commutingsolutions.org
Julie Esterline, Administrative Assistant:
julie@commutingsolutions.org 
Emily Buzek, Programs & Outreach Specialist:
emily@commutingsolutions.org
Heather Opland, Membership & Events Coordinator: heather@commutingsolutions.org

Until further notice, all Commuting Solutions-hosted meetings will go virtual, or have a significant virtual component. Keep an eye on email invitations and our website for details related to specific meetings.

We’ll still be in communication as regularly scheduled, and you’ll see some resourceful and commuter-friendly communications from us as we know that everyone will be plugged in and eager to connect and engage digitally.

In the meantime, we remain committed to our mission, to connect people to places in the northwest metro region today and for the future. We’ll do this in any way we can while following the continually evolving guidelines from our local, state and national leadership, so please let us know how we can help.

Thank you for staying in touch with us. You can reach me personally by replying to this email, and of course stay connected via Facebook and LinkedIn.

Sincerely,

Audrey DeBarros
Executive Director

Kicking Off the 2020 Legislative Session with a BANG

Bringing the Coalition Together

To start the new year and the new decade, Commuting Solutions was joined by a powerhouse lineup of speakers at our 11th Legislative Breakfast to set the tone for the legislative session ahead of us. On January 6, public and private sector stakeholders, elected officials and transportation advocates and businesses gathered at the Aloft Hotel in Broomfield to talk about what we need to do, as a coalition and a region, to make our multimodal vision become a reality, starting with our 2020 transportation priorities.

The State of Transportation in Colorado

The unfortunate reality in our state is that transportation needs to be funded and we can’t agree on how. With the defeat of Proposition 110 and Proposition CC in the past two statewide elections, it’s becoming clear that what’s being done isn’t working so we need to be creative in finding a sustainable funding mechanism. Colorado is currently looking at a list of nearly $9 billion of unfunded transportation projects statewide. Republicans believe that the funding necessary can be found in the General Fund, while the Democrats want to find a dedicated, sustainable funding source for our current and future needs.

In our region alone, we are working to find funding for State Highway 119, State Highway 7, Peak Service Exploration for Northwest Rail and other projects.

If a statewide approach doesn’t start working, it may be necessary to look into regional or local funding sources for transportation. Whether that’s through Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) or Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs), a regional approach may leave some areas of the state in further disrepair while other region choose to pursue their own funding.

To explore these topics and what lies ahead, we were joined by U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, Governor Jared Polis, Broomfield Mayor, Pat Quinn, Speaker of the House KC Becker, Senator Faith Winter, Representative Matt Gray, Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor, RTD General Manager, David Genova, Brue Baukol founder Chad Brue, Senator Rachel Zenzinger and CDOT Executive Director, Shoshana Lew.

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the event.

Moving Forward with 2020 Vision

We have to continue to work together.

From organizations such as the Denver Regional Council of Governments to the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, we have proved to be a force to be reckoned with when we work together. It was collaboration and persistence that brought the US 36 corridor from being a congested, slow-moving highway to one of the most effective multi-modal corridors in the state that is now being used a model across the nation. It was a resounding message touched on by all the speakers: together we are stronger and we can accomplish anything.

Funding NEEDS to be resolved.

Representative Matt Gray said it best when he said he doesn’t want to come to next year’s Legislative Breakfast with nothing to show or no progress made to address the significant transportation funding gap. In 2020, the biggest enemy we have won’t be the opposition, but if we finish the year without getting something across the finish line. Transportation funding cannot continue to be debated without getting any results. The longer it takes to figure out a solution, the larger the list of unfunded projects will become and the further behind we will fall in keeping our infrastructure in pace with our state’s growth.

Climate change and the environment are an integral part of the conversation.

No matter what funding mechanism we decide on or what innovations we integrate into our infrastructure, it’s all for nothing if we don’t start reducing our emissions and lessening our impact on the environment. Colorado Energy Office Director, Will Toor, discussed the electrification of our transportation and infrastructure, starting with Governor Polis’ zero emissions vehicle mandate from 2019. Transportation has become the largest source of emissions nationally, overtaking electricity. It’ll take a collaborative effort between the state, the auto industry and the general public to electrify transportation, but it can and will be done.

 

Transportation funding, sustainability and our future as a state depends on our ability to work together and continue to be creative around solving the problems in front of us. We have done it before as a region, and we will continue to do it again, until our multimodal vision, established in the Northwest Area Mobility Study, is fully realized and keeping us moving.

How to Ride RTD in the Northwest Metro Region

Have you always wanted to give RTD and its many services a try, but you aren’t sure how to navigate the system? If you didn’t grow up using transit or it’s a not a part of your daily life, it can be intimidating but it doesn’t need to be! Once you understand how the RTD system is laid out and what it will look like to ride, you’ll be a regular transit user. Transit is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to travel around the northwest metro region.

How much does it cost to ride RTD?

RTD’s fares are determined by the fare zones and the length of time the pass is good for. The table below provides a breakdown of the fare structure including the discounted rates for Senior Citizens, individuals with disabilities and Medicare recipients.

How do I choose my fare type?

Depending on how long your trip will take and your needs, there are 3 primary types of fares on RTD: 3-hour pass, day pass or a MyRide card.

A 3-hour pass is good for unlimited trips within a 3-hour window at the same service level on another bus or train. This is replacing the one-way pass and transfer system.

A day pass allows you to take unlimited rides via bus or train all day for the price of a round-trip. Tickets from a ticket book must be inserted into the bus fare box when boarding a bus and will be exchanged by your driver for a printed 3-Hour Pass, if you request one.

A MyRide card is a preloaded fare card that can be used on bus or rail. When you use a MyRide card you get a $0.25 discount on a full price fare or a $0.15 discount on an already discounted fare.

You can also purchase a 10-Ride ticket book for $28 from any RTD sales outlet, RTD’s website or at participating grocery stores in the region.

How do I know if I need a Regional, Local or Airport fare?

Before you purchase your ticket, it is good to know what class of fare you need. If you are going to Denver International Airport via the AB, the AA or the A-Line you will need to purchase an airport fare. If you’re not sure how to tell if your trip is local or regional there are a few helpful hints. A general rule of thumb for RTD routes is that if a route is designated by numbers, it’s local and if it’s designated by letters, it’s regional. For example, the 225 is a local route that services Boulder and Lafayette while the LD connects Longmont to Denver. There are several outliers in the northwest metro region, including the Flatiron Flyer which is regional and the routes in the Boulder Transportation Network: DASH, JUMP, HOP, SKIP and BOUND, which are local.

Another way to determine if your fare should be local or regional is to look at the RTD Zone map and see how many zones you’ll travel through on your trip. As you can see on the map below, there are grey and white rings: each ring is a zone. If you are traveling from a white ring to a grey ring, the trip is local. If you are traveling from a white ring through a grey ring to a second white ring, the trip is regional.

Here is quick breakdown of the fare zones.

Local RTD Fares

  • Rail travel in one or two fare zones
  • Local/limited bus routes
  • Local service on Regional or SkyRide bus routes
  • FlexRide service

Regional

  • Rail travel in three fare zones
  • Regional bus routes
  • SkyRide bus routes

Airport

  • Rail travel to/from in the Airport fare zone (Denver International Airport)
  • SkyRide bus service to DEN

How can I pay for my RTD fare?

You can pay your fare in several different ways. The first is through RTD’s Mobile Ticketing app, which can be downloaded in both the App Store or Google Play. You’ll have to set up an account and payment method in the app. With the RTD Mobile Ticketing app, you can purchase tickets when you need them or buy them in advance and activate the ticket when you’re ready to use it. You can purchase day passes, 3-hour passes and monthly passes using the app.

Follow these 6 easy steps to purchase tickets through the app.

  • Pre-purchase tickets for future use or buy a ticket on the day of travel. (Pre-purchased tickets expire 45 days after purchase even if not activated. Activated tickets expire at 2:59 a.m. the following morning after activation).
  • Select “Buy Ticket”
  • Select ticket type
  • Enter payment info and the pass is delivered instantly
  • Activate your ticket before boarding a bus or train
  • Show to operator and fare inspector

 

You can also purchase tickets at Ticket Vending machines located at every Flatiron Flyer and rail station using cash, debit card or credit card.

You can also pay for your ticket with cash when boarding the bus. You must pay with exact change by inserting the money into the fare box as you board the bus.

How do I use my RTD pass?

Once you’ve purchased your pass, whether it’s a paper ticket, a MyRide card, an EcoPass or a ticket through the RTD Mobile Ticketing app, you’ll need to prove to the driver that you’ve paid your fare.

10-Ride Ticket book

Tickets from a ticket book must be inserted into the bus fare box when boarding a bus and will be exchanged by your driver for a printed 3-Hour Pass, if you request one. If you are riding the train, use a ticket validator to validate your fare before you board, otherwise it will not be considered a valid fare payment.

Pass

Clearly show your pass to the driver as you board, whether it is in your mobile ticket wallet or a paper ticket.

Smart Card

Tap your Smart Card on the Smart Card reader next to the driver. If you need to downgrade your fare from the route’s default fare level, let the driver know before you tap. Smart Cards include the MyRide card, EcoPasses, FlexPasses, CollegePasses, the LiVE Pass and Neighborhood EcoPasses.

How do I plan a trip using RTD?

There are multiple ways you can plan your trip using RTD. There is the RTD Trip Planner as well as schedules available on RTD-Denver.com. Using the RTD Trip Planner, you can input your starting location, your end destination as well as travel preferences.

If you need more individualized help with planning your trip, call one of RTD’s skilled Customer Service Representative who can help you plan your trip start to finish. You can reach Customer Care at 303.299.6000.

Thanks to innovative partnerships with Lyft and Uber, you can now plan a multimodal transit trip including rideshare services within the Lyft and Uber apps.

There are also other smartphone apps to help you plan your trip, such as Transit, TripGo and Google Maps.

Make RTD Part of Your Daily Commute

Navigating the Denver Metro region with RTD is easy and will give you time back in your day. Instead of driving on your own, you can let RTD do the driving while you read, listen to a new podcast or pick up a new hobby like knitting or crosswords. RTD has services to connect everybody where they need to go, whether it’s local bus routes, the Flatiron Flyer, the University of Colorado A-Line to Denver International Airport or FlexRide.

If you have any questions or need help planning your next trip on RTD, reach out to our team at Commuting Solutions at info@commutingsolutions.org. We’re more than happy to help get you going with RTD and taking advantage of all it has to offer.

State Highway 119: Our Next Regional Priority

RTD Bolt service on SH 119State Highway 119 is going to be seeing a lot of change in the coming years. The goal is to transform it into a multimodal corridor, similar to US 36, with a managed lane, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and a corridor-wide bikeway in order to help ease congestion and make traveling along the corridor more efficient and enjoyable for all who use it.

Who is part of the State Highway 119 Coalition?

The State Highway 119 Coalition is comprised of the City of Boulder, the City of Longmont, Boulder County and Commuting Solutions. Also involved in the planning and process is the Regional Transit District (RTD), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and the local area chambers.

The SH 119 Coalition provides a political forum to coordinate and to advocate for the local and regional planning and implementation of multi-modal transportation improvements connecting Boulder and Longmont and serving regional and inter-regional travel needs for today and into the future.

Photo of traffic along SH 119What is State Highway 119?

State Highway 119, better known as the Diagonal, is the primary corridor that connects Boulder to Longmont. The highway in its entirety stretches from Clear Creek Canyon between Golden and Idaho Springs to I-25 in Longmont: 63.7 miles. The portion between Boulder and Longmont is roughly 20-miles long and is the focus of the coming changes. Currently the primary ways to travel along State Highway 119 between Longmont and Boulder are driving, riding the BOLT or J bus services operated by RTD and cycling along the LoBo trail.

Why does State Highway 119 needs these changes?

Traffic along a corridorCurrently over 45,000 vehicles travel daily along SH 119 and that is only going to increase with the region’s increasing population. By 2040, it is predicted that traffic along the corridor will increase by 25 percent. That would increase the number of vehicles traveling the corridor daily to almost 57,000. And that’s just an estimate.

Currently, State Highway 119 has four-foot shoulder for cyclists to use to travel the corridor, but they are next to high speed lanes of traffic and the majority of cyclists do not feel safe traveling the corridor. Plans have been developed for a commuter bikeway, similar to the US 36 Bikeway, with the aim of providing a safe and efficient multiuse facility along SH 119 that interfaces with the proposed BRT improvements and enhances bicycle and pedestrian usage in the corridor.

Northwest Area Mobility Study Map 2019In 2016, the Northwest Area Mobility Study was completed to address the significant cost increases and delays associated with building and operating the 41-mile Northwest Rail commuter rail line from Longmont to Denver, which is now projected to be completed by 2045. The study concluded with elected officials, RTD, CDOT and 13 area jurisdictions and agencies reaching consensus on transit priorities in the region in interim of rail coming to our region: the highest of which is implementing BRT on State Highway 119.

In addition, RTD recently conducted a Bus Rapid Transit Feasibility Study. State Highway 119 was identified as one of their top priority projects and an ideal corridor for Bus Rapid Transit.

What is the vision for State Highway 119?

Future SH 119 improved corridor section diagram/graphic depictionThe vision for State Highway 119 borrows from the success of US 36 and aims to replicate a similar model for the corridor. The highway would be expanded to add a Managed/Express Lane in each direction for BRT, High Occupancy Vehicles and vehicles paying a toll, in addition to the already existing general purpose lanes. The multimodal improvements would also include the construction of a paved bikeway along the entire corridor to make it accessible and safe for cyclists.

More specifically, the plan is to implement BRT using managed lanes. BRT and managed lanes will provide:

  • Highest travel time savings: 37-minute travel time (29 minutes saved in comparison to the BOLT)
  • Best transit service reliability
  • Higher transit ridership
  • Greatest number of travel options and benefits for all users: vehicles, transit, carpool, express tolls, and bicyclists while reducing congestion. 7,620 – 7,640 people traveling through the corridor per day – a 33% increase compared to the existing corridor
  • Improvements can be phased over time as funding becomes available

Why does State Highway 119 need Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

Bringing BRT to State Highway 119 is going to reduce traffic congestion and make the corridor faster for everybody to travel. It is projected that travel times will be cut in half by those who use BRT and the Express lanes along the corridor when the project is completed, compared to those driving solo.

In a recent interview with Colorado Public Radio, CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, praised the US 36 project and the success of BRT along the corridor.

US 36 Multimodal Corridor graphic depiction“The U.S. 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder was a CDOT expansion project in a public-private partnership. One of the great innovations of that project is that the managed lane both helps with demand management, which helps from a congestion perspective, and it also provides a really efficient bus route. The Flatiron Flyer is, by the accounts of all who take it, one of the most efficient bus experiences in Colorado. And part of that is because we used our capacity expansion project to create a more efficient bus route. That’s an opportunity that exists in many highway projects.”

The State Highway 119 project hopes to replicate the success of the US 36 corridor and move people more efficiently between Boulder and Longmont.

And what is Bus Rapid Transit exactly?Bus Rapid Transit station diagram

Bus rapid transit (BRT) service is high-frequency bus service that emulates rail transit, and provides fast and reliable service on a dedicated route.  In addition to high-frequency, fast and reliable service, the BRT system along SH 119 will include:

  • Managed lanes for BRT to use for expedited travel times
  • High-quality stations: Stations that accessible for persons with disabilities, offer shelter from inclement weather and provide up-to-date information on schedules and routes.
  • Branding: Consistent branding that identifies the stations and transit vehicles.
  • Technology: Streamlining fare collection, transit priority, etc.
  • Vehicles that offer rapid boarding and alighting

What will the bikeway look like?

A large component of turning State Highway 119 into a multi-modal corridor is to add a bikeway, similar to the US 36 Bikeway. It will be a continuous, paved path that connects Boulder and Longmont. The plans for the bikeway are in the initial phase of design, but as more funding is identified, they will be able to further the plans. During 2020, Boulder County and CDOT are proceeding to take the corridor bikeway to a higher level of engineering and design to further define the alignment.

Now for the big question, who’s paying for the project?

Graphic with the funding breakdown for the SH 119 project

The total cost of this project is an estimated $250 million including construction of managed lanes, Bus Rapid Transit and the corridor bikeway.

Currently $93 million in funding has been secured for project: $30 million from RTD, $13 million through the Denver Regional Council of Governments, $9 million from CDOT and $1.15 million in local matching. At the end of 2019, CDOT awarded the State Highway 119 an additional $40 million from the funding made available through SB-267.

The State Highway 119 Coalition is continuing looking into funding mechanisms for the project including federal grants, CDOT grants and other innovative funding solutions.

What’s Coming in 2020?

In 2020, the SH 119 Coalition is going to continue with identifying additional funding for the project. There is roughly $160 million in funding that has yet to be secured. Early in the year, they will be applying for a federal BUILD grant to secure funding for improvements to the intersection at SH 119 and Hover in Longmont. BUILD is an acronym for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development and planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

As more funding for the project is identified, CDOT and partners will be able to further develop plans and designs for the corridor. In March, the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition will go on their annual advocacy trip to Washington D.C. to learn about possible funding opportunities for the project. They will be able to leverage the $40 million they received from CDOT at the end of 2019.

A Note from the Speaker of the House: Vote Yes on Proposition CC

KC Becker is the 39th and current Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives since 2019. She has represented the state’s 13th district since 2013. Prior to her legislative service, she served on the Boulder City Council, where she was the council’s representative on the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority and was the city’s representative to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). Becker was elected to the Boulder City Council in 2009. 

 

View of Colorado US 36As a Boulder resident who works in Denver, I’ve driven, carpooled, vanpooled, bussed and biked U.S. 36 more times than I can remember. I’ll never lose that sense of wonder when I head home over Davidson Mesa and catch a glimpse of the Indian Peaks looming over the Flatirons.

But looming even larger over the Front Range is a local crisis that’s unfolding as a national embarrassment: the best economy in the country–the envy of other states–saddled with $9 billion in transportation needs, all without a dedicated funding source (see: no plan for the future). We’re one of the worst states in road conditions and urban congestion, adding up to over $2300 per year per person in car repairs and lost time.

It started almost 30 years ago with a narrow vote on a ballot measure called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is the most restrictive state spending limits in the country. Almost every business, academic and public sector leader will tell you: forcing the state to uphold this antiquated law and refund taxes to individuals over an arbitrary limit may be good politics, but it’s awful policy. No matter how much money the state collects from things like corporate tax and tourism revenue, it can’t invest much of it in basic services.

We make our communities feel the brunt of the bad times without the benefit of the good times.

Because of this irrational cap on spending, these forced rebates will average $37 per person next year. Don’t get me wrong, for a lot of Coloradans that’s a lot of money—a tank of gas, a few days of groceries, two weeks of diapers, a date night.

But proposition CC is asking voters to pool this money to the tune of $309 million for the state next year, and likely more in years to follow. With one vote we can use our temporary refunds to untangle our broken tax code and invest the money the state already collects in three specific areas: transportation, K-12 Education and Higher Education. That’s $103 million for transportation and transit needs,$103 million for schools and $103 million for higher ed.

These refunds may be $37 for the average Coloradan, but they’re a windfall for the wealthiest — closer to $1000, reimbursing them more for just having more money.

If we can allow the state to invest this money it already collects, without raising taxes, we can invest these one-off refunds into the long-term health of the state.

Under Proposition CC, 40% of the new money for transportation will go straight to local and county governments. Places like Louisville, Broomfield, Boulder and the whole Front Range corridor will be able to identify and invest in their specific transportation priorities. The other 60% will go to the embarrassingly underfunded state transit fund.

We can, as Commuting Solutions says, create “transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities.”

Proposition CC won’t eliminate Colorado’s budget woes, but it’s a great step forward–without raising taxes. And it’s exactly what conservatives have been asking us to do for decades: act within the limits of TABOR and invest in our needs with the money we already have.

Proposition CC is a defining moment for Colorado’s future. We can reduce congestion, improve our schools and keep our economy firing on all cylinders, simply by allowing state and local governments to keep and invest the money it already collects.

I’d be grateful for your support. Together, we can do better–for our kids, our schools and our transit. Together, we can invest in Colorado’s future!

Visit yesonpropcc.com to learn more.

Out and About: Summer 2019

With this beautiful, warm Colorado summer, the Commuting Solutions team is always eager to get out from behind our desks and spend time at events around the region. From farmers markets to office trail clean-ups to RTD Rider Appreciation – our summer is filled with opportunities to connect with communities throughout the northwest metro region.

With fall right around the corner, we wanted to say farewell to summer by sharing some of our favorite memories from the past few months and give a sneak peek at what is on the horizon for Commuting Solutions!

RTD Rider Appreciation Events

From early mornings to evenings after work, we celebrated all our transit riders that have chosen a stress-free commute through our RTD Rider Appreciation events!

RTD Rider Appreciation events not only help us show our transit riders how much we care, but also provide an opportunity for our bus riders to meet their local RTD representatives and share feedback on their transit trips. So far, we have hosted one RTD Rider Appreciation events, passed out over 350 snacks, connected with over 400 commuters and have had countless positive conversations.

We aren’t done with RTD Rider Appreciation events! Don’t miss one of our two remaining events at an RTD station near you! We’ll be at Westminster Station on Tuesday, August 27 from 7:00-8:30 and US 36 & Broomfield Station on Tuesday, September 10 from 4-5:30 p.m.

Community Events

Summer is always our outreach season and 2019 has been no different! We’ve been everywhere across the northwest metro region from the Erie Farmers Market to Rhythm on the River in Longmont and National Night Out in Broomfield. And we still have more places to go!

 

 

 

Coming up, you can find the Commuting Solutions team at Broomfield Days, Superior Chili Fest, Longmont’s Unity in the Community and more. We always love spending time out in the community, providing maps, resources and guidance on how to commute around the region.

Sponsorship

Commuting Solutions is excited to share that we currently have sponsorship opportunities available for 2020! Why should your organization consider a Commuting Solutions Sponsorship?

  • You’ll be recognized as a leader in the transportation conversation and a champion for providing commuter options to the northwest metro region
  • Our sponsors receive premium brand exposure at all of our 2020 Signature events – allowing them to reach a larger audience
  • Gain exclusive access to industry experts, elected officials and local thought leaders

To learn more about our Sponsorship opportunities click here..

Quarterly Membership Meeting

Join us on September 17 from 7:15 – 9:00 AM at the 1st BANK Center for our upcoming Membership Meeting. Transportation experts and business leaders will share an inside look at what the future holds for transportation in the northwest metro region.

Our quarterly Membership Meetings provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders from across the northwest metro region to connect and learn more about initiatives that will continue to increase the economic vitality and commute options of our region.

Register today!

Thank you to our community members, partners, and commuters that made this summer one for the books! Keep an eye out for us this fall at community events and stay tuned for information on about exciting new programs that are underway.

Seeking a Marketing Intern

Marketing Communications Intern

About Commuting Solutions:

Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions.

Position Description:

Commuting Solutions is seeking an undergraduate student, graduate student, or entry-level professional preparing for a career in marketing, community outreach or transportation management to join our team as a fall intern. The ideal candidate will be asked to work 10-12 hours per week, with the exact schedule to be mutually decided upon.

The primary goal of the Commuting Solutions internship is to provide the individual with experience in day-to-day marketing and outreach activities and to assist with specific projects aimed to increase awareness of Commuting Solutions.

This is an outstanding entry level opportunity for candidates looking to enter the marketing, TDM or transportation sector. Compensation is $10 per hour, in addition to class credit.

 Areas of Responsibility

Social Media

  • Schedule approved social media content
  • Assist Marketing Coordinator with ad hoc social media posts
  • Assist with developing social media graphics
  • Assist with engaging with partners on social media channels

Content Creation

  • Assist with drafting content for monthly newsletters
  • Assist with developing blog content
  • Assist with developing additional marketing materials, as needed

Outreach

  • Represent Commuting Solutions at public events in the community
  • Organize exhibitor materials and supplies.
  • Assist outreach staff with distributing program materials to the region

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent organizational, verbal and writing skills
  • Knowledge of AP Style preferred
  • Advanced writing skills
  • Reliable, dependable, flexible and responsive
  • Strong computer skills required
  • Proficiency using MS Office Suite
  • Must possess excellent customer service skills
  • Ability and desire to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks
  • Ability to work outside normal business hours, as needed
  • Strong interpersonal skills, good judgment and ability to communicate professionally with diverse audiences

Please submit cover letter, resume, and a writing sample by August 26 to Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director at audrey@commutingsolutions.org.

Vanpool? More Like VanCool!

Are you getting tired of driving alone during your long commute? It’s time to get your out of your car and into a vanpool! Commuting Solutions, in partnership with Way to Go, Commute with Enterprise and GO Boulder/City of Boulder is excited to announce their newest program: VanCool! Register for a vanpool and receive $20 a month for the rest of the year towards the cost of your vanpool!*

The VanCool program was inspired by our mission to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality throughout the Denver Metro region.

Vanpools are the perfect solution for commuters who travel more than 15-miles one-way to work. Passengers share the ride in a vehicle – which contrary to the name, isn’t always a van – that seats 5-15 people. Participants pay a monthly fee that covers the cost of fuel, insurance and vehicle maintenance.

The benefits of vanpooling are never ending. When traveling along US 36, vanpools have access to the US 36 Express Lanes for free as a High Occupancy Vehicle.** Participants in vanpools also don’t have to worry about making time to bring their vans in for maintenance: the maintenance crew will come to your workplace so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Still not sold on vanpools or have some more questions? Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about vanpools.

FAQ

How much will a vanpool cost?

Every vanpool is different. The cost is determined using a formula that takes into consideration the distance of your commute, the number of participants, how many days a week your traveling, the cost of gas and more. The cost of the vanpool will cover:

  • 30-day agreements
  • Full administrative support by a local staff
  • All maintenance and repairs covered
  • 24-hour Emergency Roadside Assistance, including free loaner van as needed
  • Guaranteed Ride Home – In an emergency you can take a free cab ride up to 100 miles one was
  • $1 million insurance policy with no deductible.
  • A one-time $60.00 CO State Road Fee charged on first invoice

How do I find people to vanpool with?

We will help you! Vanpools can be created a handful of different ways. Vanpools are primarily created through employer vanpool matching events. We will create a dot map of employee addresses and determine potential vanpools based on clusters. We can also use the My Way to Go network to match you with existing vanpools.

When and where will I meet up with my vanpool?

That’s up for you and your pool to decide! As a vanpool, you’ll need to establish ground rules ahead of time, such as a meeting place, departure times and how long the van will wait for a late passenger. Park-n-Rides are popular meet-up locations as well as a great place to store the van.

Do I have to drive?

Not if you don’t want to! Each vanpool must have at least two drivers listed and covered by insurance. It’s up to the vanpool to decide who the drivers will be.

What happens if I need to get home in the middle of the day or unexpectedly change my schedule?

If anything unexpected comes up, the Guaranteed Ride Home program is available to all our vanpool participants. All you’ll need to do is call their number and schedule a ride.

Can I bring a bike?

Sure, just tell your vanpool coordinators ahead of time and your vehicle can be retrofitted with a bike rack!

So sign up, help decrease traffic congestion and save a little extra money while you’re at it. Now that’s a cool idea.

Ready to get registered? Click here, fill out the form and we’ll be in touch!

*This offer is valid to those who qualify as a new vanpool in the Commuting Solutions region. New vanpool must be registered by 5:00pm on September 30, 2019. Management reserves all rights. New participants who commute into/out of Boulder, Colorado will receive an additional $20 per person, per month through December 31, 2019.

**Driver must have switchable HOV pass in vehicle.

 

A Guide to Cycling in the Northwest Metro Region

Bike to Work Day is almost here which means its time to shift gears and talk about all the amazing cycling resources available in the northwest metro region. From paved to soft-surface paths, bike share, wayfinding and more, our region is a haven for cyclists (and not just because of our unbeatable views!).

The US 36 Bikeway

The Northwest metro region is home to the US 36 Bikeway and with the backdrop of the Flatirons in Boulder, its easy to see why it’s such a popular bike path. The bikeway stretches from the south end of Boulder at Table Mesa Station to 80th Avenue in Westminster. The 18-miles of paved bike path provide the perfect alternative to being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on US 36. This year alone the US 36 Bikeway has already counted over 100,000 trips.

Bike-n-Ride Shelters

Perfect for our commuters who want to take advantage of a multi-modal bus and bike commute, the Bike-n-Ride shelters located across our region provide a safe place to store bikes at RTD stations. Users must apply for an RFID card online to gain access to the shelter. The shelters provide long-term, secure and weather-protected bicycle storage for commuters making connections to and from local or regional transit routes.

Currently, you can find shelters at the following locations:

  • 8th & Coffman, downtown Longmont
  • Hover Street & Highway 119/Diagonal in Longmont
  • US 36 & Table Mesa Station
  • Downtown Boulder Station – Walnut and 14th Street
  • US 36 & McCaslin Station – Superior (Eastbound side)

Later this summer, we will be working with RTD to construct two new Bike-n-Ride shelters: one at US 36 & Broomfield Station and one at US 36 & Sheridan Station.

Wayfinding

A vital element to making our region easily accessible and navigable to cyclists was the implementation and installation of wayfinding signage along the US 36 corridor. Our local governments worked together to make sure that it was easy for residents and visitors alike to explore our region. In December of 2018, the uniformed branded wayfinding sign were installed along the corridor.

Bike Share

Want to explore our region but aren’t ready to commit to buying a bicycle? Give one of our bike share programs a try! Bike share programs such as Zagster and Boulder BCycle are innovative systems that give users the ability to pick-up a bicycle at any of the self-serve bike stations and return the bike to any of the bike stations in the area.

Zagster is currently operating throughout the city of Longmont, while Boulder B-Cycle operates in the city of Boulder. It’s a great way to get out and explore a new city while getting some exercise!

Bike Northwest Map

Before heading out for a ride, make sure you know where you’re going with our Bike Northwest Map. This map is the result of a collaboration with our local governments in an effort to make a regional bike map that spans from Westminster all the way to Longmont.

The online version of the map comes with layers that you can play with to find your perfect ride. Do you want paved paths or maybe you want to avoid street riding? Just choose the layers that work for your perfect ride and the map will do the rest from there.

Bike to Work Day

In 2018, our region cycled 610,661 miles and saved 265 TONS of CO₂. Help us shatter our record by participating in 2019 Bike to Work Day! There are breakfast stations to stop by throughout the region where you can get a free breakfast and cup of coffee while getting to celebrate all the cyclists in our region. We can’t wait to see you out there!

Breaking Down the 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 Legislative Session wrapped up on May 3 and while transportation was not a primary focus in the session, there were still several pieces of legislation that will have a positive impact on transportation.

Here is a breakdown.

TABOR Reform – HB19–1257 and HB19-1258

What is it?

This session there were two bills that would amend Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and what is done with the extra revenue from taxes.

TABOR caps the amount of money the state can spend each year to the current budget plus growth and inflation. Extra revenue is returned to the taxpayers.

The first bill will ask voters to allow to the state to keep the money and the second bill requests that the funds be split equally between transportation, K-12 education and higher education.

The third allocated to the Highway Users Tax Fund would be divided with 60% going to the State Highway Fund, 22% to the counties and 19% to municipalities.

How does it impact you?

If these bills are approved by voters this coming November, it would mean you’re less likely to get a state refund from your taxes. However, it would provide some short term funding for much needed transportation infrastructure projects.

What’s next?

Both of these bills will be put on the November ballot for voter approval. If approved, the bill will take effect no later than 30 days after the vote.

Climate Change – HB19-1261

What is it?

This bill, introduced by House Speaker and Boulder native, KC Becker, set specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state: reduce output 30% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

How does it impact you?

In order to meet these goals, the state is going to become serious about reducing vehicle miles travelled by single occupancy vehicles, electric zero-emission vehicles and more, given that transportation is Colorado’s second-largest source of carbon emissions.

Impacts of Transportation Changes – SB19-239

What is it?

SB19-239 will require CDOT to convene a stakeholder group to examine the economic, environmental and transportation system impact of new and emerging technologies.

The group will be responsible for:

  • Quantifying the amount of carbon emissions produced by ridesharing vehicles
  • Quantifying the amount of carbon emissions that can be reduced by zero-emission vehicles
  • The incentivizing of multiple occupant trips
  • Identify additional or improved transportation infrastructure
  • Access the cost associated with the above

How does it impact you?

While there may be no direct impacts to the public immediately, the recommendations produced by this stakeholder group will be influential on transportation policy in Colorado for years to come and will shape how our infrastructure is developed going forward.

Delay Referral of Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) – SB19-263

What is it?

A ballot measure that would ask voters to authorize the sale of Transportation Revenue Anticipation Note (TRANs) is being delayed to November 2020, as opposed to November 2019. If approved in 2020, the measure would:

  • Require the sale of TRANs in a maximum amount of $1.837 billion
  • Require an additional $42.5 million be transferred from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund and that TRANs debt service be paid from the SHF

How does it impact you?

This bill will eventually provide additional short-term funding for transportation as it won’t be put to the voters until 2020, but doesn’t create a long-term sustainable source. It’s another band-aid on the situation while funding is figured out.

What next?

While our state legislators did a good job at finding short-term funding sources for vital transportation projects in Colorado, the next big hurdle we face is figuring out a long-term solution. This could be raising the gas tax, adding a sales tax or an idea that hasn’t been thought of yet. Solving our transportation funding crisis continues to be a top priority for our state and local government.