Go Boulder

Created in 1989, the Go Boulder program was designed to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution by getting Boulder residents to shift from single-occupant vehicle use to alternative transportation modes such as bicycles, public transit, and walking. To promote this shift, the City of Boulder used a combination of strategies including the introduction of transit pass programs, the creation of community events, and improvements to transportation infrastructure. Introduced as an incentive to increase bus ridership, transit pass programs were designed to work much like a group insurance policy – individuals could only obtain a pass at a reduced rate if an entire business, school, or community bought into the program. Though marketed to each target audience in slightly different ways, the program guaranteed rides home and enhanced convenience for pass holders by offering a “HOP” shuttle service that ran every 10 minutes on direct routes between key destinations at no additional cost.  Attractive posters placed in high visibility areas helped to promote the transit pass program and a household directory showcasing local businesses with delivery services aimed to reduce the number of trips needed to run errands. Community and school-based events promoting alternative modes of transportation gave Boulder residents the opportunity to experience these options first-hand while also increasing awareness of the Go Boulder program throughout the city. The City of Boulder also built over 80km of bikeways and 35 overpasses and underpasses for cyclists and pedestrians to use, making alternative modes of transportation safer and more convenient. Monthly stories in the local newspaper and presentations aired on a community television channel provided the community with feedback on program participation and impact. The Go Boulder program was evaluated over the course of six years through ongoing citizen surveys such as the Biennial Diary Study and employee travel logs. Focus groups and community meetings were also held throughout the program to uncover changes in attitudes, concerns, and opinions. Between 1990 and 1994 a six percent shift in daily trips from single-occupant vehicles to other modes of travel was achieved.

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