Friday, June 15, 2007

The Day Pass

Yesterday I talked about the Call A Ride program that I liked over in Denver that the local transit system the RTD is operating. Today I am going to talk about the day pass that RTD offers like UTA but like UTA makes them difficult to get.

Both RTD and UTA only have day passes available in certain places. The way I have purchased day passes from both companies was on their websites. However at least UTA ships out your purchases when the next business day, however RTD only ships twice a month. I purchased my day pass about a week before there site says they will ship. The ship date was almost a two weeks before I was due to leave. However, my departure date came and went with no day pass showing up (in fact, it has never shown up).

Fortunately RTD has a counter at the Denver Airport (which UTA does not) so I was able to buy a couple of day passes there. However, the bus driver on route AT punched the 6th on my day pass instead of the 7th so I was screwed.

Compare that to the Metro in the Los Angeles area. When I was in Los Angeles in March I rented a car for one day because my uncle lives in an area that would have taken hours to get there by bus. I returned the car the next day and took transit to my meeting. I just board the Metro bus and purchased the day pass and I was on my way.

If RTD drivers where able to sell day passes he could have replaced the one he screwed up on with a new one but because RTD doesn't allow the drivers to sell them, I was screwed. UTA also does not allow drivers to sell day passes which is the opposite what many other transit organizations are doing around the country.

UTA and RTD should be making day passes easy to get. Its a matter of making the transit system easy to use for your customers. In addition making it easy to use also means that people from out of town are more likely to use your system. With car rental prices going through the roof even worse than gas prices, transit systems have a good opportunity to get more people on the system.

So how about it RTD and UTA, lets make day passes easier to get?


Misty said...

You used to be able to get them at Trax, but that wasn't much help if you wanted to use a bus to get to Trax. This issue has bugged me for a while, too. Thanks for bringing it up.

JMD said...

Yes Misty you can still get them at TRAX, doesn't do you much good if TRAX is out of your way like it is for many of us.