I’m getting a little nervous about RTD as a viable transportation option.
For those who don’t know, RTD is the mass transit organization in Denver. Buses, trains, whatever. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but whatever.
I ride the bus to and from work on a regular basis. My bus was late today. I checked the rider alerts page and though they had various alerts for my bus route, they didn’t have anything listed about a delay that would have effected me. As time went on, I called. Turns out, they didn’t have a driver for that scheduled time and so they just skipped sending a bus for that scheduled time. They also didn’t bother updating their alert page for that. I’ve heard of them just dropping other buses without notice when they came up short a driver as well.
This makes it kind of difficult to be able to rely on the bus to get to and from work.
Now, I know they’ve been having real problems getting enough drivers. I know this. I know they need a certain amount of funding to be able to run and not being able to get enough drivers probably means they can’t afford to pay them enough. However, if they can’t run buses at the scheduled times, people will stop riding. If people don’t use RTD, they won’t want to fund it.
That doesn’t lead to good things.
I don’t get upset at fair increases. I support any public funding increases for them that I come across presuming they aren’t just squandering money (still unsure whether the train expansions that have been sitting for several years unused because they can’t get federal approval due to safety concerns in their design means squandering or not). Still, that all depends on me seeing them as useful. If I don’t see them as useful, I’ll end up spending the money on another car and downtown parking and just fight my way in.
Denver’s traffic problem will not get better if we can’t get people off the road and into mass transit for commutes.
This just concerns me. I can understand accidents, mechanical failures, drivers calling in sick, all that. However, if they can’t run a fairly reliable system then it just isn’t useful. Remember in the 80s how we made fun of various countries because people would just show up to wait for buses and trains without any idea when they would arrive? Remember how bizarre that seemed?
I have to get to work reliably. If RTDs reliability is an issue, I have to stop using them and go into work a different way. Others (who are able) will do the same. Then things will just get worse.