Transit Feasibility Study
With a population of 70,000 and an expected ultimate population of about 140,000, the Town has decided now is the time to explore the possibility of future transit services for the community. The goal of the current Castle Rock Transit Feasibility Study is to understand realistic options considering the Town’s finite revenue resources.
The study will look at a variety of transit options and trends. It will also provide information on why extending light rail into Town is not feasible and the challenges with implementing this option. Regional services provided or planned will be assessed to explore local options that may integrate efficiently with them.
In 2017, the Town updated the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to identify transportation improvements throughout the Town. However, it only included a brief look at the possibility of future transit service.
The Town does not currently offer transit service to the entire public. Existing services consist of a Taxi Voucher Program, which provides service to limited Town residents. The Town also contributes funds to the Castle Rock Senior Center Transportation Program, which also provides limited services in Town.
In its two most recent biennial community questionnaires, the Town has asked residents whether they support the Town investing in public transportation within Town limits. While the scientific studies have shown support for the concept, it drops when residents are asked about their willingness to pay an additional tax for the service; more than half of residents surveyed said they were not willing to pay an additional tax to develop a public transportation system.
The Transit Feasibility Study will strive to be consistent with this input by assessing potential options against the Town’s constrained revenue.
History of transit in Castle Rock
Prior to 2005, the Town was part of the Regional Transportation District, which operates the Denver area light rail and bus systems, along with other services. Service to Castle Rock was very limited, and residents did not believe they were getting adequate service for the amount of taxes paid. In 2005, Castle Rock voters opted out of RTD and the associated sales tax.
From 1994 through 2010, the Town contracted with a small transit provider, the Clean Air Transportation Co., to provide a bus service to much of Castle Rock at little to no cost to riders. The Town discontinued this service during the Great Recession due to budget constraints.
From 2004 to 2012, the Front Range Express bus service served Castle Rock, providing connectivity to Colorado Springs, Monument, Greenwood Village and Denver. This service was discontinued due to budget concerns.