If you go down to Pearl Street, you may find yourself circling around the area looking for a parking spot. According to the City’s 2015 Transportation Master Plan, approximately 49,000 cars drive into Boulder each day, with another 20,000 leaving. Vehicles alone account for 23 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. So consider ditching your car and looking into one of Boulder County’s alternative transportation options to free yourself from parking lot frustration.
According to a 2005 Boulder Valley Employee Survey conducted by the City of Boulder, an employee with an EcoPass is nearly nine times more likely to have commuted by bus in the last year than an employee without EcoPass. Once you’ve got your pass, use the RTD Transit Watch on your smartphone to keep track of departure times and delays to ensure you get where you need to go on time.
Companies can purchase an annual EcoPass for all full-time employees, with an option to include part-time employees. The pass is tax deductible for employers and tax free to employees. Pass holders can use all RTD services an unlimited amount of times.
A collection of residents can purchase Neighborhood EcoPasses. These users typically apply with 50 or more households in order to keep the fee to approximately $150 per household.
The City of Longmont offers the Ride Free program, providing fare-free rides on all four local buses inside the City. Residents of Nederland are also eligible for an EcoPass to use around town.
Boulder County Transportation is working with RTD on RTD’s Transit Pass Update Project to explore the feasibility of a community-wide EcoPass for all County residents. To provide the County with your thoughts and comments on a community-wide EcoPass, visit: www.bouldercounty.org/roads/transit/pages/rtdtransitpassupdate.aspx.
If you want to stay fit and not worry about bike theft, B-cycle is a great option. Those are the red bikes you see at stations around Boulder. You can choose from four different pass types to best suit your biking needs.Visitors should choose the Day Tripper pass for unlimited 30-minute rides for a single day. People’s Pedaler is a monthly pass that also allows unlimited 30-minute rides. Republic Rider passes allow unlimited 60-minute trips for a year. You can also just get a single use pass for $3. Users can check the availability through B-cycle’s mobile app, rent a bike with a membership card, or credit or debit card, and return the bicycle in any available docking station. The City of Longmont is starting Zagstar, a bicycle rental system with computers installed in individual bicycles.
And don’t forget about Boulder County’s extensive system of greenways and bike paths.
Carpool Way to Go and VanGo
Do you like to chat with new people? Then carpooling is a great option for your commute. The Way to Go program offers a regional ride-matching service for carpools, vanpools and schoolpools. They also help organize Bike to Work Day and provide resources and tools for biking, walking, public transportation, car-sharing and work schedule options (such as telework, flexwork and compressed work week). Similarly, VanGo can help you find a carpool, vanpool or even a biking partner. Cars are stationed in a central location or at a driver’s home, and drivers pick up riders along the way. The cost depends on the distance; however, you can drive and maintain the cars and get a discount. In emergencies, these carpool systems guarantee transportation home.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars just for short trips. eGo CarShare, a nonprofit car-share organization, provides more than 40 cars and trucks around the Denver metropolitan area. There are two membership plans to choose from depending on your monthly needs. All insurance, gas, maintenance and parking is covered. Nonprofit, business and university discounts are available.
Even the youngsters of Boulder County can get a head start on being sustainable travelers with Trip Tracker for the students St. Vrain Valley School District. Students record the amount of time they commute on foot, by bikes and buses to earn Trip Tracker Bucks, which can be used at participating businesses.
No, they aren’t whisking people around Boulder County yet, but Jared Hall, Boulder County’s senior transportation planner, says it might not be far off. Google’s parent company Alphabet is at the helm for the Waymo project, which is testing out fleets of self-driving cars in four American cities: Kirkland, Washington; Mountain View, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Austin, Texas.