Transit Service Delivery Study
- Purpose: The city is continuing to put more public funds into RTD, and is getting less transit service. To advance the TMP's Renewed Vision for Transit initiative, the city needs to look at expanded and/or new transit service delivery models. Confirming that the status quo model will not fulfill the city's TMP goals, the study will assess the financial, technical and political aspects of potential new models.
- Goal: It is the goal of this study for the City of Boulder to collaboratively work with regional and local partners to explore and assess all transit service delivery options and to recommend one or more options to move forward for consideration by the city.
- Partnerships: It is a priority of the City of Boulder to maintain a partnership with RTD, Boulder County, CU, Transfort, Via and other local and regional agencies to accomplish the Renewed Vision for Transit.
- Complementary solutions: New partnerships and service delivery models should augment the existing transit network and create a layered approach to provide a multimodal transportation network.
- Fiscal responsibility: A new service delivery model should prioritize the efficient use of public dollars and should leverage local and regional resources.
- Timeframe: The study should identify both short and long-term strategies for implementing a new transit service delivery model(s).
The City of Boulder's Transit Service Delivery Study will evaluate the feasibility of alternative transit funding, operating, and partnership arrangements that could improve transit mobility within, to and from the City of Boulder.
The questions this study will ask are two-fold:
- How can the current service delivery structure deliver the Renewed Vision for Transit, and where are the challenges?
- What are potential alternative funding, operating and governance/partnership structures that can optimize opportunities to implement the Renewed Vision for Transit?
Alternative scenarios to be examined include a wide range of options, including: alternative funding structures, the city and Boulder County establishing and operating consolidated supplementary transit service, the city operating local transit management and operations of certain local bus routes, and more. The study will include a detailed analysis of these and other service delivery scenarios to understand and evaluate costs, benefits, opportunities and challenges associated with each model.
The City of Boulder's 2014 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and Renewed Vision for Transit seek the expansion of both the geography and frequency of local and regional transit service. The challenge facing implementation of this Renewed Vision for Transit is that Boulder's current service model—which relies heavily on the Regional Transportation District (RTD) for both local and regional transit service—is constrained. RTD's limited resources and competing regional priorities throughout the metro area means that the city needs to find additional and/or new transit deliver model(s) if it is to fulfill the Renewed Vision for Transit and TMP goals. Boulder's Transit Service Delivery Study will provide policy makers, stakeholders and residents with a more in-depth understanding of our current model's benefits and challenges, as well as evaluate additional and/or new options for providing high quality transit service in Boulder.
The first phase of the study included:
- an updated financial analysis of current and planned transit service delivery in Boulder;
- current and planned service levels;
- funding sources and share of funding inputs versus service outputs to determine funding inequities and/or gaps in service delivery;
- an assessment of what service planning, programs and operating and capital requirements are still needed to achieve the Renewed Vision for Transit Action Plan and 2014 Transit Modal Plan;
- and a peer review to understand lessons learned from other jurisdictions that have implemented local funding and governance initiatives or restructured their partnerships with regional transit service providers.
The focus of this phase is to identify and analyze alternative transit service scenarios and related fiscal impacts. This phase will begin by establishing the goals for transit delivery by which alternative structures can be measured. Options for restructuring transit service could range from ideas like the city and Boulder county establishing and operating consolidated transit service, to the city taking over local transit management and operations of the Community Transit Network (CTN) system, to forming a new regional transit authority with a new taxing district. The study will include a detailed analysis of these and other service delivery scenarios to understand and evaluate costs, benefits, opportunities, and challenges.
This phase will include an analysis and recommendation to carry forward one or more preferred scenario(s). It will involve a detailed financial analysis and recommended sustainable funding mechanisms to support the operations for the preferred governance model(s). This final phase will conclude with recommended next steps and a timeframe to implement.
The study will create a community and agency engagement process that ensures involvement and input by all stakeholders, interested parties, affected publics and others. Early in the study, the project team will identify the specific membership of a Policy Steering Committee, with membership from City Council, Boulder County Commissioners, and CU-Boulder leadership and a Technical Steering Committee with membership from City of Boulder, Boulder County, and CU-Boulder staff. A multi-pronged outreach approach will involve working closely with a core group of transit service providers (RTD, Via Mobility, Transfort and CU-Boulder), while also engaging interested and influential stakeholders, such as the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Boulder Transportation Connections, Commuting Solutions and the US 36 Mayors/Commissioners Coalition.