To the editor:
RTD is considering cutting service of the SKIP and other Boulder routes. I urge Boulder
citizens to contact RTD asking the agency to retain full service of this invaluable
I live one block off the SKIP route and keenly remember the day these friendly
green buses made debuted in summer 1997. In positive ways, the SKIP has changed
both Boulder my Newlands neighborhood. By offering convenient service on clean,
comfortable buses, the SKIP (and its siblings HOP, etc.) popularized riding the bus for all
kinds of people at all hours. The SKIP is as least as important to transit as walking and
cycling in Boulder. That’s saying a lot. In snow and ice season it indispensible especially
for K-12 and college students.
The SKIP has acted as a second car for my family. Both my kids took the SKIP to
attend Centennial Middle School and Boulder High. When I worked in the Holiday
neighborhood the SKIP was my commuter line. Now I use it to connect to the BX to
reach my job as executive director of Urban Land Institute Colorado in downtown
My family also uses the SKIP and HOP for weekend errands and nighttime
entertainment. My daughter, now a sophomore at CU, put a premium on renting a Martin
Acres house near Broadway. Her priority is to have access to the SKIP and continue to
live without a car (forever, she says!). Thanks to good local transit, my 16-year-old son
and his neighborhood friends have been in no hurry to get learner’s permits.
The Neighborhood Eco Pass program has flourished thanks to convenient services like
The SKIP has also exerted a positive influence on shaping development patterns in
Boulder. The award-winning Holiday neighborhood and other walk/transit-friendly
infill development in North Boulder rely on the SKIP to ensure mobility. Recently the
Springleaf townhouse development at Broadway and Quince has marketed proximity to
a busy SKIP stop as an amenity (“Spring Leaf’s location will encourage you to leave the
car at home!”)
This is completely consistent with RTD’s new Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC)
program. RTD should tout this as a pilot for future anti-sprawl development around
FasTracks and bus rapid transit (BRT) stations.
Cutting the SKIP’s frequency will greatly reduce the route’s convenience and hurt
ridership. This is just as density is building throughout the route, especially in North
Boulder but also in central Boulder where I live. The SKIP bisects the always growing
CU campus and adjacent student neighborhoods. Rather than cutting SKIP service, RTD
should be expanding SKIP-like services into corridors throughout the region. You could
easily imagine a Colfax SKIP, Denver Broadway SKIP, a Tech Center SKIP, or one for
central Golden or the Union Corridor.
RTD’s mission is not just to provide bus service for riders but to relieve congestion and to
shape compact development around transit. The SKIP does all three admirably. It should
be a model for the system, not a chopping block victim.
RTD faces difficult funding tradeoffs. But cutting thriving routes will only damage the
system’s ridership and credibility. To continue to increase it credibility, ridership and
customer service, RTD must build on successes like the SKIP.
More information is available at rtd-denver.com (click on “proposed service changes).
Citizens please consider attending a public hearing on the cuts on Monday, Oct. 3, at 7
pm at East Boulder Rec Center.