Arriving to class and work on time might become more difficult in the near future if you rely on the Boulder RTD bus system.
The Regional Transportation District has proposed budget cuts that would decrease the frequency of buses on several routes, including the Skip and the Jump, which are two of the busiest routes.
Martha Roskowski, Go Boulder program manager, said most of RTD’s funds support services during peak times of the day, especially in the morning and evening.
“If they can reduce demand during peak hours, they can reduce money,” Roskowski said.
Roskowski said some people will adjust to the changes accordingly, but others will stop taking the bus entirely. This may be a major concern for the city of Boulder because there will inevitably be more cars on the road.
“RTD finances work better with fewer buses,” Roskowski said. “It actually costs them to ride more buses, which is something we call ‘transit paradox’.”
Sydney Adams, a 21-year-old senior studio arts major, said the proposed budget cuts would impact her greatly since she takes the bus to work five days a week.
“If they make it less frequent, I would have to leave extra early,” Adams said. “I don’t have a lot of flexibility in the times that I can make the bus. If they change it, that means I have to work less hours and get less money.”
Adams said she is also concerned because the buses have not always proven to be reliable.
“The buses are always late,” Adams said. “If you’re on a tight schedule, then three minutes can mean a lot.”
However, not everyone feels that the changes would affect them.
Madeleine Ours, an 18-year-old freshman theater major, said she feels she can adjust to the possible changes.
“I feel like most things are pretty walkable and bike-able around here,” Ours said.
John Tayer, RTD Board of Director for Boulder District, said he wants RTD to be of good service to riders, and he is concerned these proposed budget cuts will do the exact opposite.
“I don’t want people to miss the bus because it’s full and passes them by,” Tayer said. “My goal is to optimize the use of RTD transit funds.”
In order to prevent the proposal from passing, RTD needs the feedback of citizens, especially from CU students, Tayer said. There will be public hearings over the next month and a half to two months, providing people with plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns.
Roskowski said she believes these budget cuts would have major negative impacts on the city of Boulder and its riders.
“This community benefits in a lot of ways when people ride the bus,” Roskowski said. “We’re really concerned.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Catarina Massa at Catarina.Massa@colorado.edu.