Imagine the Money to Improve Denver Transit Is in Your Hands. How Would You Spend It?

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

The basics of a good transit system are no mystery: buses and trains that arrive so frequently you don’t have to memorize a schedule, streets that prioritize transit so it doesn’t get bogged down in congestion, safe and comfortable walking routes to transit stops. But with finite resources to work with, which improvements are most important to you?

As part of the Denveright transit system overhaul, city officials made a tool where you can play transportation planner and see how different investments pay off. Build Your Own Transit System gives you a budget of $100 to divvy up between different transit improvement options.

Want more frequent service? That’ll cost $20. Upgrades like transit-only lanes will run you $15.

It’s a way to gauge people’s priorities while illustrating how much bang you can get for your transit investment buck. For instance, RTD partnering with on-demand ride services won’t do anything for the transit system’s speed, frequency, and reliability, but bus rapid transit projects will. And better biking and walking connections do more to increase transit ridership than adding car-share options at bus and rail stops.

“The Build Your Own Transit System tool informs/educates the respondents about trade-offs and builds an understanding of the decisions made as part of transit service planning and benefits associated with how transit resources are allocated,” Denveright transit project manager Kristina Evanoff said in an email.  The results of the survey will help transit planners understand Denverites’ values and shape final recommendations, Evanoff said.

The exercise only takes a few minutes. Head over to the city’s website and weigh in.