Hack my commute
July 24, 2013 12:04 PM   Subscribe

I need to commute from my home in Denver to my 9-5ish job in Boulder. Please help me reduce time spent in traffic!

Driving without traffic takes 45 minutes. Taking buses the whole way would take 90 minutes (one way) because I'd have to go into downtown Denver to get the bus to Boulder. A combination of driving and bus will probably work best, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the best route because I don't know the region well and RTD and Google maps don't offer a multimodal search option.

Some days I'll have to drive the whole way so I have access to my car during the workday.

I have the flexibility to adjust my schedule to avoid rush hour, but in general my office operates from 9 to 5. I have been working 8 to 4 but the traffic has been pretty bad - should I come in even earlier? Anecdata about the "sweet spot" for avoiding traffic would be most appreciated.
posted by TrixieRamble to Travel & Transportation around Colorado (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What general part of Denver are you in?
posted by HermitDog at 12:13 PM on July 24, 2013

There are several park-and-rides where buses to Boulder stop. Check the Regional bus routes, they're pretty much all going to be in that category. Since you've got a set destination (work) but could potentially stop at a few different park-and-rides, maybe work backward from that with the schedules?
posted by asperity at 12:24 PM on July 24, 2013

Best answer: And where in Boulder is your job? Is it close to the transit center, or do you have to take another bus from downtown?

Not knowing more details - and not having good input about timing - one thing I can suggest is that there are lots of park-and-rides along 36. Especially if you live in north or west Denver, the big PnR in westminster could be a good place to catch the BV. The downside there is that you can't catch the BX (the express Boulder-Denver bus) at the PnR, but the express bus only saves you about ten minutes anyway; sounds like that's not worth the hassle of getting to Market Street Station.

I haven't taken that bus much during rush hour, so I don't know if it would be too full to get a seat if you're catching it partway down its route. They run lots of them during rush hour, though, and I do know that the BX bus is more popular than the BV so maybe you have a better shot at seats with the BV.
posted by mandanza at 12:24 PM on July 24, 2013

Nthing, we need to know where in Denver you are coming from and where in Boulder you are going to be any help. But, yes, generally speaking commuting during the off hours (at all) should help.
posted by fieldtrip at 12:28 PM on July 24, 2013

I should note: off hours might help on the driving commute, and you might try that on days where you'll need the car, but some of the regional buses only run during rush hour, so be careful about that.
posted by asperity at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2013

Response by poster: Home is in northeast Denver (but still Denver proper). Work is near 28th (36) and Canyon.

Can anyone tell me why would constitute the "off hours" in terms of traffic? If not I can keep going by trial and error. Thanks all!
posted by TrixieRamble at 12:39 PM on July 24, 2013

Having made this commute myself for years (from Highlands, Denver to 30th & Colorado, Boulder), leave before 7:30 and head home before 4:30. This typically results in a 30 minute commute in either direction, depending on how far east of Denver you live. The BX (S might work for you, too) usually takes about the same amount of time, but add 10-15 mins to get to/from the bus stop.
posted by mrrisotto at 12:57 PM on July 24, 2013

FWIW, my experience is that the worst time to be on the roads is 4-5 pm. I don't know if that's universal or not.

I usually have luck using the numbered routes. If the interstate doesn't work for you, try the US routes and the State routes.

Get out a map and try going ways that the GPS wouldn't suggest.
posted by gjc at 1:49 PM on July 24, 2013

Best answer: If you have a smart phone, get the Waze app. Will always take you the fastest route possible, taking into account real time traffic and crowdsourced information. You can also check what your route would be during different times of day to narrow down what the best commuting hours would be. Is a godsend in LA!
posted by buzzkillington at 4:32 AM on July 28, 2013

I just saw this contest and thought it may be relevant to your interests.
posted by asperity at 9:02 AM on August 8, 2013

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