Colorado Free Transit Program Boosted Ridership

Col­orado’s -long exper­i­ment with -free tran­sit could have last­ing impacts, writes Olivia Prentzel in the Col­orado Sun, as many tran­sit agen­cies around the state are see­ing sus­tained rid­er­ship num­bers after the end­ed. The state offered $28 mil­lion in grants to agen­cies that made tran­sit free in August as an effort to reduce air pol­lu­tion at the time of year with the high­est ozone emis­sions.

While rid­er­ship num­bers dipped after the no-fare pro­mo­tion end­ed, at least of the 14 pub­lic tran­sit agen­cies that par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Fare for Air pro­gram saw more rid­ers in Sep­tem­ber com­pared with July, includ­ing the Region­al Dis­trict — saw a 14% increase in its aver­age week­day rid­er­ship from July to Sep­tem­ber, accord­ing to the agen­cy’s report on the pro­gram sub­mit­ted to the state Wednes­day.

As the arti­cle notes, “Draw­ing con­clu­sions from the one-month pilot is chal­leng­ing, as num­bers can be influ­enced by the start of the school year and large sched­uled events, like the Col­orado Avalanche dur­ing the NHL play­offs and the Stan­ley Cup cham­pi­onship parade.” The state is still weigh­ing how to spend remain­ing funds and whether to renew the pro­gram next year.

Read More

Leave a Comment