Three incidents on the “Y” bus route connecting Lyons to Boulder compelled me to take action. All incidents occurred on the “Y” carrying riders either to Boulder from Lyons or returning home. The incidents occurred when the bike rack on the front of the bus was full. All incidents occurred when the driver was not one who drives the route regularly. The drivers were not RTD, but the drivers of contractor First Transit.
The first incident was when one of the young women of Lyons tried to board the “Y” with her bicycle and her young child. The bike was equipped with a child seat on the back. The woman was denied admission. When I was told of this, I said I would have insisted she be allowed on the bus. Then a regular rider brought his bike to the 6:45 a.m. departure and he was denied admission. A group of us confronted the driver and argued our case that there was no reason he shouldn’t be allowed on the bus. “We do this regularly and there are never any passenger complaints,” we said. We even brought the bicycle onto the bus. But the driver refused to drive. I called RTD, but they put me on hold. As the driver would not drive with the bike on the bus, and I remained on hold, the individual removed the bike, locked it and got back on the bus. The last incident occurred when a Pinewood Springs man and his son attempted to return home with the boy’s bicycle. They had been allowed to bring the bike onto the bus in the morning by the regular driver. But the new driver said he couldn’t bring the bicycle back to Lyons on the “Y”. As we were in the terminal in Boulder, I asked him to wait while I spoke to the supervisor. He wouldn’t wait and so the man, his son and the bicycle were left behind. I argued that the bus was only a third full and there was no reason the two could not be let on the bus and the bike be held securely. The driver said, “It’s up to me and I say no!” During the trip we picked up additional riders and reached a total of 18 riders, the bus holds 26 so we had 8 empty seats.
I called our RTD rep John Tayer and also e-mailed him as well as left comments on the RTD web-site detailing the best I could the three incidents and asking for consideration.
I specifically cited the need for intra-modal transportation. Here is the response I got. I am grateful for the intervention of our RTD representative John Tayer.
Former Trustee, Town of Lyons
Response To Peter’s Letter To The Editor
Dear Mr. Baumgartner:
Please accept and extend my apologies to the Pinewood Springs gentleman and his son for the difficulty they experienced recently with the service on the Route Y. We shared your comments with management at First Transit, the private contractor that provides service on the Route Y, and asked that they investigate and address your concerns.
RTD policy does authorize operators to use their discretion in matters of allowing bicycles inside the bus. If an operator is reasonably certain that the passenger load is light enough to accommodate a bicycle inside the bus. In the situation you witnessed, it appears there was room on the bus and the gentleman and his son should have been allowed to board the bus with their bicycles.
First Transit has instructed all Route Y drivers that due to the limited number of trips to Lyons, they are to make any and all possible safe accommodation to passengers wishing to load their bicycles inside the bus. While First Transit operators will make all efforts to safely accommodate bicycles inside Route Y buses, we would like to remind Route Y passengers that if an unsafe condition could result from a bicycle being allowed on the bus the driver will retain the discretion to not allow a passenger to bring a bicycle on board the bus. In the event that a passenger with a bicycle is not allowed to board the bus, First Transit has assured us that they will make a reasonable effort to assign an extra bus to the Route Y to address the situation. First Transit asked that we pass along their apologies for any inconvenience you experienced.
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. Should you have further problems with service on the Route Y, please contact Greg Smith, RTD Maqnager of Competitive Services at (303) 299-6080, or via email a
so he can follow up with the service provider immediately.
Phillip A. Washington
RTD General Manager