As part of the ongoing Denveright planning process, the Denver Moves: Transit team has released their State of the System Report, which includes a number of findings that further reinforce the relationship between transit and walkability. The report found that 75% of bus riders walked to the bus stop while 42% of light rail riders walked to their stop. Considering that bus riders account for two-thirds of overall RTD ridership, that is a significant amount of transit users who rely on walking to access transportation to work, school, and other daily activities.
This is especially true for the 46% of local bus riders who do not have access to a car. Over half of all bus trips begin within a short walking distance (less than a quarter-mile) from the bus stop and over 80% begin within one mile of a stop. With only 36% of Denver residents within walking distance of frequent all-day service, expanding or reorganizing routes and frequency rates would bring even more people within walking distance of transit.
The report even used data from the The First and Last Mile Report that WalkDenver partnered on with Mile High Connects and BBC Research & Consulting. A survey conducted as part of that report found that respondents ranked pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, pedestrian crossing enhancements, wayfinding/signage, and lighting as most in need of funding and investment.
Most of the major transit investments in recent years have gone to the rail system. These stations are most likely to be located near highways and have large Park-n-Rides that cater more to transit riders likely to drive to their stop. Even at these types of stations, the State of the System Report points out that “safe and comfortable pedestrian facilities can be a deciding factor for transit riders when choosing whether or not to take transit at all, especially for those with the option to drive.” Whether someone is walking to their local bus stop from their home or walking to the light rail station from their car, everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their trip.
You can find the entire report and more information about the Denver Moves: Transit plan at the Denveright website. If you would like news and updates about Denver Moves: Transit, you can subscribe to the Denveright Transit Newsletter.