It’s unfortunate that downtown Lakewood, aka Belmar, doesn’t have a stop on the new West light rail line. But RTD offers great bus service to Belmar from the Wadsworth light rail station. If only more people knew about it.
RTD’s bus route 76 is one of the best lines in the system, with buses running up and down Wadsworth Boulevard with rail-like frequency. On top of that, route 26 runs along Wadsworth between Belmar and 26th Street. Between those two routes, buses run from Belmar to light rail every few minutes.
But unless you already ride one of those routes, or you’ve memorized the bus system, you probably don’t know that.
In the long term, a uniform brand for high-frequency bus routes could help more riders think of buses the same way they think of rail, but in the short term, how about something like this:
That’s not a whole new paint job, it’s just a large sticker applied to the side of an existing bus that advertises an important connection. RTD could roll this out next month if they wanted.
Other bus agencies around the country do this when they want to highlight a particular destination, or give a single route a special brand. Here are three examples from Washington, DC, showing a colorful brand marker atop the standard bus livery:
In fact, RTD already does something like this for the 16th Street shuttle, with its special “Mall Ride” brand. Why not more? If it helps a few more riders become comfortable enough to use transit, and has no apparent downside, then let’s do it.