May 25, 2019

The Skinny on EcoPasses

Photo by flickr user writRHET.

I’ve heard more queries lately about starting an RTD EcoPass program in Golden, and Rick Muriby at the city’s planning department (and our transit point person) provided the following low-down. It more-or-less boils down to an individual neighborhood having a high enough participation rate that the numbers work out, and that’s probably going to be pretty tough to pull off now but it might start to look more promising when the light rail and our own new community bus come online in 2013.

Rick’s info:

The City has begun looking into the Neighborhood EcoPass program, and staff’s thinking has been that this may be a great initiative for some areas of town once the light rail station and the proposed circulator service (which now has committed funding) begin operation in May 2013.

I’ve talked to representatives at RTD who manage the program and it’s been successful in several neighborhoods in Boulder where a high percentage of neighbors opt in and reduce the cost for all. RTD requires that an HOA or the City sponsor the program for a given neighborhood and that a “NECO Contract” be signed. A survey is then given by RTD to determine the level of interest in paying into a Neighborhood EcoPass, and the results of the survey are used to determine the pricing scheme.
Here are the steps:

  • Either county / city government entity or HOA must be involved
  • Either county / city government entity or HOA must sign a NECO Contract
  • Survey must be taken
  • Survey determines the price

The main point I took away was that this is a great deal if a neighborhood can generate a high participation rate, which is generally dependent on whether or not the area is already served well with transit options.


  1. Don B. says:

    If you don’t know about the EcoPass, or don’t ride the RTD bus or light rail lines you are missing out on a great deal. Since my company in Boulder is located within the downtown business district, we buy passes for all employees, which is requried by the program, and the cost to our company is around $110 per person for the whole year. With the pass, you have access to all RTD busses and rail lines within the metro area. I ride the GS line five days a week form Golden to Boulder and back. Travel time is the same as driving and I only have a five minute walk on each end. This saves me at least $10 per day in gas, plus around 10,000 miles on my vehicle per year. I also get an extra hour of reading time in every day. I don’t worry about driving when the roads are bad. I often catch a bus, the BX, from Boulder to downtown Denver after work to meet someone for dinner, or a Rockies or Nuggets game, and then ride the 16L back to downtown Golden. No cost, no worry about too many drinks, etc. etc. ONce you gt used to it, it’s smple to plan your trip and make connections.