Published: Dec. 1, 1997

The University of Colorado at Boulder will launch a pilot employee bus pass program early next year in cooperation with the RTD ECOPASS system and the City of Boulder, according to Paul Tabolt, vice chancellor for administration. Specific dates will be announced after agreements with the city and RTD have been finalized.

The campus has made a decision on a plan for financing CU-Boulder’s portion of the program’s costs, Tabolt said.

The bus pass program is intended to reduce traffic congestion in and around Boulder, cut back on campus parking demand and save money that would be required to build new parking structures on campus. The goal is to encourage about 400 people to give up their parking spaces.

The program will be funded through a combination of campus general-fund support, contributions from auxiliary enterprises, and moderate increases in parking permit fees. In the early years of the program, RTD and the City of Boulder will contribute funds, which will be phased out by the fifth year.

Tabolt said the funding plan is designed to “equitably spread the impact of the program’s costs among campus groups.” CU-Boulder’s costs for the program are expected to be about $280,000 for the initial year.

Under the financing plan, campus funds will support 49 percent of the campus costs, auxiliary enterprises will cover 21 percent and increased parking fees will pay for 30 percent.

Monthly parking permits for CU-Boulder employees will increase by a total of $3, which will be phased in over the next 18 months. Employee parking permits currently cost $18, $24 or $30 per month, depending on location.

An intensive evaluation will be conducted one year after the program starts, Tabolt said. “We want to determine our level of success in meeting our interim goals, such as reducing the number of parking permits, before committing to a long-term program.

“We’ll have to re-evaluate the program after one year if we aren’t making steady progress toward a 400-space reduction in parking demand. Also, during this first year, we will continue to explore other solutions to the problems of traffic congestion and parking demand.”

The ECOPASS program will entitle CU-Boulder employees to unlimited rides on RTD transit services, except special services. Participants will be able to use:

• Any local, express or regional (e.g. Denver, Longmont, Louisville) bus

• The Hop and Skip

• SkyRide bus service to Denver International Airport

• Light Rail