The Real Mass Transit Solution


A few days ago, I needed to go into downtown Denver for a meeting. This was somewhat complicated because I don't currently have a working car, something that's possible because I work at home, and Walmart delivers groceries. (It's called Walmart To Go, and I really do like the service.)

The People Who Know Better About Everything have been developing a massive mass-transit system for the Denver area for, I don't know, maybe 30 years, and with a massive construction program with light rail that is supposed to make everything wonderful. So, I investigated using the system.

Well, it's about a half hour drive from my home to my meeting.

By "efficient, cheap, comfortable, and environmentally friendly" mass transit, the trip is nearly 3 hours: first I'd walk about 2 miles to catch a feeder bus into Boulder, then I'd catch the express bus to Denver, then I'd catch the 16th Street Mall bus to about 4 blocks from my destination and walk the rest of the way.

Oh, and have you heard about the Denver weather recently? We've had pouring rain nearly every afternoon for weeks.

It didn't make sense; I paid a local car service $80 to drive me in. Luckily I had dinner plans as well, and my dinner companion drove me home. (Thanks, Donna!)

So that's "efficient, cheap, comfortable, and environmentally friendly" mass transit for you.

I'll give you this -- in terms of the ticket cost, mass transit would have been cheap: the feeder buses are "free" and the Express bus is $2.25. But that doesn't count the 1 percent sales tax that pays for the system. If I used it regularly, I could buy a monthly pass, which costs in the neighborhood of $150 a month.