Using Denver transit takes up to 3 times as long, city finds

A bus enclosure on West Colfax Avenue. Jan 9, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

bus stop; transit; rtd; west colfax; business improvement district; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
A bus enclosure on West Colfax Avenue. Jan 9, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) bus stop; transit; rtd; west colfax; business improvement district; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
A bus enclosure on West Colfax Avenue. Jan 9, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

If you’re taking public transit, chances are that it will take you almost twice as long, according to a report from Denver Moves.

In their analysis of 13 sample trips, using transit took anywhere from 1.5 to three times as long as driving. All told, the average was 1.98 times as long for transit trips.

Transit trips that did not require a transfer were generally the most competitive, according to Denver's analysis.
Transit trips that did not require a transfer were generally the most competitive, according to Denver’s analysis. (Denver Government)

For the six trips that didn’t either end downtown or use the light rail corridor, the average delay was a bit higher, 2.21 on average. (I’m looking at trips 2, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 here)

Transit trips on light rail are more competitive even when they included a transfer between routes or lines, the city found.
Transit trips on light rail were also more competitive, even when they included a transfer, the city found. (Denver Government)

But driving time doesn’t always equate with travel time. At least downtown, a driver has to budget for additional parking time.

For transit trips ending in downtown, the average delay for transit was 13 minutes. Depending on how long it takes you to park, that might mean transit is a more competitive option.

Still, if Denver is to achieve its goal of reducing single-occupant vehicle travel to no more than 60 percent by 2020, the significant differences between transit and driving need to shift.

Denver Director of Transportation Crissy Fanganello has said that to increase ridership, there needs to be an incentive to taking it — namely that it’s faster than the alternative.