Free Ride on US 36 Express Lanes for CU Boulder’s Graduation on May 7

Plenary Roads Denver waives tolls to thank commuters and communities along corridor as US 36 project completion draws near – Go Buffs!

BOULDER, CO – May 4, 2016 Plenary Roads Denver (PRD) today announced that tolls on US 36 Express Lanes will be waived for University of Colorado’s graduation on Saturday, May 7. This one-time free toll day will be effective from 6-9:30 a.m. in westbound lanes from Federal Boulevard through Foothills Parkway toll points and from 3-6:30 p.m. in eastbound lanes from Foothills Parkway through Federal Boulevard toll points.

“As we near completion of this multi-modal project, we want to recognize the commuters and community members along the US 36 corridor who have been patient with us during construction. We’d also like to congratulate CU graduates and their family and friends who will be traveling to and from Boulder on graduation day by offering complimentary use of the US 36 Express Lanes,” said Terry Ostrom, PRD Senior Vice President. “We’ve seen many benefits of this project, with commuters now having access to biking, carpooling, transit, Express Lane travel options and reliable travel times, that we are excited to celebrate with our communities in this way.”

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal, public-private partnership led by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), and PRD. The project includes two free general purpose lanes in each direction, one tolled Express Lane in each direction, and a bikeway along the US 36 corridor  – offering users the choice to ride the bus, carpool, bike, use the two free reconstructed general purpose lanes or pay a toll in the Express Lanes.

HPTE Director and former CU student David Spector said, “I think waived tolls are a great graduation gift to CU graduates and their families. PRD is a new partner with HPTE and the community, and we thank them for doing it. Go Buffs!”

#ForeverBuffs

About Plenary Roads Denver

Plenary Roads Denver (PRD) is a Denver-based consortium of industry leading firms established to efficiently deliver improvements to the US 36 corridor. By creating a team of experts from each part of the infrastructure industry, PRD is able to ensure an integrated roadway, bus rapid transit system, and bikeway that serve the needs of all residents. PRD ‘s team consists of Ames Construction, Granite Construction, HDR and Broadspectrum, and is led by Plenary Group, an investor, developer and operator of public infrastructure projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Plenary Group’s U.S. headquarters is located in Los Angeles, California, with an additional office in Denver, Colorado.

HPTE hosts North I-25 Express Lanes telephone town hall tonight

Discussion will focus on the North I-25 Express Lanes Proposed Toll Rates

May 2, 2016

DENVER — The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) will host a telephone town hall discussion tonight to provide information on the proposed toll rates for the North I-25 Express Lanes, between US 36 and 120th Avenue, which will open for toll commencement this summer.

Representatives from HPTE, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the North Area Transportation Alliance (NATA) will discuss and take public input on the proposed toll rates for the North I-25 Express Lanes, which opened for testing in March 2016, as well as provide information on how to use the Express Lanes and how to get a pass.

North I-25 Express Lanes Proposed Toll Rates Telephone Town Hall
Who: Representatives from HPTE, CDOT and NATA
When: Monday, May 2, 7-8 p.m.
Phone Call-in: 877-229-8493 PIN number: 111457

For more information on the proposed toll schedule for the North I-25 Express Lanes, go to https://www.codot.gov/programs/high-performance-transportation-enterprise-hpte/agenda-item-documents/2016-agenda-documents/january-2016-agenda-documents/i-25-segment-2-toll-rates-setting-final-01072016-1.pdf

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About Express Lanes: Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes currently are open on I-25 between downtown Denver and 120th Avenue, on US 36 from Denver to Boulder and on I-70 from Empire to Idaho Springs. For more information, visit expresslanes.codot.gov. To get an ExpressToll account and pass, visit www.expresstoll.com.

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling. For more information, visit www.coloradohpte.com.

For more information on the North I-25 Express Lanes, go to www.codot.gov/projects/I25NorthExpressLanes.

RTD launches bus-on-shoulder operations for Flatiron Flyer on U.S. 36

Beginning May 1, RTD buses will be able to use the shoulder to bypass traffic when speed in the general purpose lanes is less than 35 mph

Denver – The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) Flatiron Flyer bus rapid transit (BRT) buses will be able to drive on the shoulder of U.S. 36 beginning Sunday, May 1 during certain traffic situations.

Buses will be able to drive on the shoulder under the following conditions:

  • The traffic speed in the general purpose lanes is less than 35 mph—any time of day.
  • The bus cannot exceed the speed of general purpose traffic by more than 15 mph, with the maximum speed being 35 mph

Only RTD buses will be allowed to travel on the shoulders, at the discretion of the bus operator. Shoulder use for emergency responders and broken-down vehicles will continue to be a priority.

As a part of the U.S. 36 Express Lanes project with the Colorado Department of Transportation, the shoulder of the highway was expanded to 12 feet wide and built to withstand the weight of a bus.

“The road improvements to the shoulder thanks to the US 36 Express Lanes project will provide an additional resource for our buses to keep moving efficiently,” said Dave Genova, RTD general manager and CEO. “Being able to utilize the shoulder during traffic congestion will allow the Flatiron Flyer to continue to provide reliable service at all times.”

Currently, bus-on-shoulder operations will only be allowed on U.S. 36. However, a recent law passed by the Colorado State Legislature could allow bus-on-shoulder options to be added to other highways, if work is done to expand the shoulders.

Flatiron Flyer service is comprised of six all-stop and express routes that operate along the U.S. 36 corridor. The BRT service runs every 3-15 minutes, depending on time of day and location. Flatiron Flyer service encompasses 18 miles of express and high-frequency bus service between downtown Denver and Boulder, with six stations along U.S. 36.

About RTD
RTD’s mission is to provide safe, clean, reliable, courteous, accessible and cost-effective bus and rail services in the eight-county district, and fulfills 100 million passenger trips annually. The public transit agency is creating a larger, better and more accessible system through innovation, public-private partnerships and transit-oriented communities.

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US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program and local employers team together to reduce drive alone trips

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—The US 36 corridor’s recent multi-modal transformation provides an array of travel options, and through a two-year US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, local employers are benefiting from the new transit system being a viable commute option for their employees. The US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program was launched in 2015 by Commuting Solutions to provide free RTD EcoPasses to businesses located within walking distance of RTD’s McCaslin, Broomfield and Sheridan transit stations.

A mid-program analysis indicates that with 919 EcoPasses available at 20 businesses, an estimated 63,356 annual vehicle trips were reduced. Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros points out, “The annual vehicle miles traveled reduced (VMTR) by this group is estimated to be 1,710,601.” DeBarros adds, “This reduction is equivalent to about 69 trips around the earth’s equator.”

The 2015 program results are encouraging and point to significant transportation impacts for the US 36 corridor. In the pre- and post-survey analysis, Commuting Solutions found that once commuters receive their EcoPass, they are reporting 19 percent fewer drive alone trips, compared to before they had the pass; and they are reporting a 111 percent increase in transit trips.

Employers such as Return Path, who participated in both 2015 and 2016, found the RTD EcoPass to be a valuable benefit for employees. Return Path Office Manager Angela Fitzgerald explains, “The EcoPass has proven to be an exceptional benefit for our employees, and provides a transportation option that fosters a lively and thriving environment. When employees are less worried about the time, cost and environmental impacts of getting to and from work, a happier and more productive atmosphere emerges. Our employees have taken full advantage of the EcoPass, and Return Path is excited to partner with Commuting Solutions to provide the pass in 2016 for our 230 employees.”

Eight of the organizations who participated in 2015, representing 360 employees, have continued with the program for 2016. These eight organizations are paying 25 percent of the cost, while grants provided to Commuting Solutions cover the remaining 75 percent. Twelve new organizations, representing 370 employees have joined the 2016 program. 2016 will be the final year of the subsidized US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, as the grant funding this program was awarded to coincide with and introduce commuters to the benefits of the new and improved US 36 corridor.

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. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

Innovative US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program offers incentives to keep commuters moving

Louisville, Colo.—As the US 36 Express Lanes Project nears completion, travel along the corridor is already showing significant improvement. Based on post-survey results from Commuting Solutions’ US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program, a two-year social marketing campaign designed to reduce traffic congestion and raise public awareness about commute options, more US 36 commuters are opting out of driving solo. Commuting Solutions Executive Director, Audrey DeBarros, explains, “To date, the program has contributed to a 40 percent reduction in drive alone trips by those who participated in the program, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have been reduced by 12,500. This is more than three times the VMT reduction that had been anticipated over the life of the program.” DeBarros adds, “To put it in perspective, there are about 500 fewer vehicles traveling the corridor each day.”

Commuting Solutions, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), offers eligible commuters incentives to change commute behavior. US 36 Express Lanes Project Director, Scott Rees, says, “From bike to bus to van or car, now is a great time to try a new way of commuting on the US 36 Express Lanes.” Those who want to try RTD are eligible to receive a 10-ride Regional Ticket Book, valued at $40. New vanpool and carpool applicants are eligible to receive a $75 incentive. Funding for these incentives is available through the end of 2016. Incentive program details and the application are available at commutingsolutions.org.

Additionally, as a part of a US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, 919 EcoPasses were distributed in 2015 and 733 have been distributed in 2016. An analysis of the 2015 EcoPass program indicates that the annual number of vehicle trips reduced by this group is 63,000 and the annual VMT reduction is estimated at 1,710,000. An analysis of first-year EcoPass participants indicates that drive alone trips were reduced by 19 percent, and transit use increased by 111 percent.

“We are thrilled to see more commuters taking advantage of the incentives program and altering their commuting behaviors. With the US 36 Express Lanes Project nearly complete, Commuting Solutions remains focused on inspiring commute behavior change to maximize use of the new transportation system on US 36,” says Audrey DeBarros.

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. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

Annual Transit Rider Appreciation Events Scheduled for US 36 Commuters

BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Commuting Solutions and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) are again teaming up to provide breakfast treats and thank transit commuters for riding transit.

From 7 to 8:30 a.m., between Sept. 15 and Oct. 21, 2015 Annual Rider Appreciation events will be hosted at six US 36 RTD stations. Audrey DeBarros, Commuting Solutions executive director explains, “These events are an opportunity for transit riders to meet with their RTD directors and staff, and the staff of Commuting Solutions, to learn more about RTD’s services and routes and offer feedback to both of our organizations.” DeBarros adds, “With the January launch of the new bus rapid transit (BRT) service the Flatiron Flyer and improvements along US 36, including the new bikeway, there should be a lot to talk about and share.”

The first event is 7 to 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Broomfield Station at Wadsworth and Arista Place. Appreciation events will also be held Sept. 16 at Table Mesa Station, Sept. 22 at Flatiron Station, Sept. 29 at Sheridan Station, Sept. 30 at Church Ranch Station and Oct 21 at McCaslin Station.

For more information about the Rider Appreciation events visit commutingsolutions.org.

About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the mobility of commuters along the US 36 corridor. Our public-private coalition consists of 70 private sector members and nine public sector members between Westminster, Boulder and Longmont, and nine individual members. commutingsolutions.org.

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More free rides courtesy of Commuting Solutions RTD EcoPasses free for qualifying employers

More free rides courtesy of Commuting Solutions
RTD EcoPasses free for qualifying employers

Louisville, Colo.—Commuting Solutions, a local nonprofit organization providing programs and assistance to commuters along the US 36 corridor, is offering free EcoPasses to organizations with five or more employees located within a quarter mile of the RTD McCaslin, Broomfield and Sheridan transit stations.

Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros explains, “Thanks to funding provided by the US 36 Express Lanes Project, Commuting Solutions was able to implement a Master EcoPass Pilot Program to reduce congestion during the project and inspire commuters to try transit. This is a phenomenal and unusual opportunity for us and for employers and employees.”

For employers signing up for the first time in 2016, the passes are free for one year; for those 25 companies who participated in 2015 and choose to continue the program into 2016, the final year of the program, Commuting Solutions has funding to cover 70 percent of the cost for those EcoPasses.

Employers such as Return Path who will be returning to the program, found the RTD EcoPass to be a worthwhile benefit for employees. Return Path Office Manager Angela Fitzgerald said, “The EcoPass has proven to be an exceptional benefit for our employees from a benefit’s perspective, as well as being a transportation option that fosters Return Path’s focus on a lively and thriving environment. When employees are less worried about the time, cost and environmental impacts of getting to and from work, it frees them up to be happier and more productive. Our employees have taken full advantage of the pass and Return Path is excited to partner with Commuting Solutions to provide the pass again in 2016 for our 230 employees.”

The grant was awarded to coincide with the new and improved US 36 corridor that, starting in January 2016, will host RTD’s Flatiron Flyer, a bus rapid transit (BRT) service with fast, frequent and reliable service. In addition, RTD has upgraded six of its park–n-rides along US 36 to high-tech, easily accessed transit stations. The first 11 miles of the US 36 Bikeway between Louisville and Westminster is open, and cyclists are enjoying a commute that rivals their car for time and easily noses out the car for cost, enjoyment and stress relief. The remaining seven miles of this “highway for bicyclists” will extend to the Table Mesa Station when completed in early 2016. Combined with the EcoPass, the bikeway gives commuters even more options for their daily trips between Boulder and Denver.

To find out if your organization qualifies for the 2016 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, send an email to info@commutingsolutions.org or call 720-639-4864.

About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the mobility of commuters along the US 36 corridor. Our public-private coalition consists of 76 private sector members, nine public sector members between Westminster, Boulder and Longmont, and nine individual members. We understand the challenges and difficulties associated with the daily commute and offer real-life solutions to Northwest-area commuters.

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