Many planners and politicos assume that humans are hard-wired to hate buses. But economists like Daniel McFadden and Jonathan Richmond have noted that travelers care about features like reliability and speed more than whether they’re riding on rails or tires. A while ago I highlighted a case in point: some Denver commuters were mighty peeved when bus routes were replaced by less convenient light rail. Now this:
Unending complaints from riders who lost their fast and comfortable bus commutes when the T-REX light rail line opened in November paid off: RTD is restoring some of the canceled service. Many riders of the former routes P, T, W and 6X said RTD’s attempt to force them onto light rail along Interstate 25 made them spend an additional hour or more each day riding to work. The RTD board voted Tuesday night to bring back service as soon as the schedules are worked out. It is expected to cost nearly $600,000 a year. While some service is being restored, it won’t be all that it used to be. Route P from Franktown and Parker to downtown Denver used to have 13 trips in the morning and 13 in the evening. The renewed service will have five trips each way. Route T went from Boulder to the Denver Tech Center. When T-REX opened, riders were told to use the Boulder route to Denver Union Station, take light rail to the Tech Center then use local buses to get to their workplaces. The renewed service will have three trips each in the morning and afternoon instead of five.