The Death Train!

KevRyde

Well-Known Member
I thought I'd start a new thread to share stories and discuss strategies about pickups and dropoffs at Union Station and how to compete against...



Have you seen it? To me it looks like something right out of a Stephen King novel. So yeah it takes 37 minutes from Union Station to DIA if it doesn't derail or explode. I mean no one's died yet, but do you really want to be the first?
 
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KevRyde

Well-Known Member
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Twice in as many weeks, I've had the pleasure of successfully up selling two riders on a ride all the way to DIA instead of Union Station. In both situations, I started out with some lighthearted sarcasm - "okay well good luck with taking the train" or "hmmm hope that works out for you" - and then teasing them in a fun playful way into letting me take them all the way to DIA so they can enjoy my luxurious, spacious and very well air conditioned cabin along with my awesome personality. One woman mentioned that she was already pressed for time and went for it right away, and the other woman at first shared her concern about cost - her taxi driver from the airport lied to her and told her Uber would be at least $60 and ended up charging her a metered $75 fare instead of the regulated flat rate fare to downtown - but I told her it would be around $32 to $34 (it ended up $32 from the Marriott).
 
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Jimmy Bernat

Well-Known Member
It does brake down somewhat regularly . Wife and I were planning on taking it home from DIA but after all the stories I've heard from Passengers .. No thanks .

I've started to try and convert some of my passengers from Union Station drop offs to just getting them to the airport . I'm 1 for 3 so far lol

I'm not aggressive but when I load their bag I say so off to DIA and when they say Union Station , I just respond with an alright and then proceed how I refuse to take it until all the bugs are fixed and it's not braking down regularly and then I'll get a question back about what I mean . That's about it , the one guy just said "my plan takes off in 2 hours I better not risk it , can you just take me to DIA?" Sure thing

I don't really mind the LoHi to Union Station rides I mean it's a $9 fare on Select and usually only takes 5 minutes
 

Jimmy Bernat

Well-Known Member
I may have to take your approach Kev

"You mean you don't want the pleasure of riding in that huge plush leather seat while enjoying music and air conditioning "

I get one or two short select rides to union station a morning usually . I don't get it after you pay the $11to 15 for a select ride and then add in the $9 for the train it's almost the same price as UberX or Lyft . Not to mention if you add a second passenger to the mix now you're spending more . You have to wait for the train , you might miss it and have to wait longer then you have to pile your self and your crap into a tin can and hope it doesn't stop or break down ... No Thanks
 

KevRyde

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I've had more than one rider confess that they took the train from DIA, but took Uber all the way for the ride back to DIA. One rider shared something along the lines of, "it took longer than I thought...still had to take an Uber to the hotel...after my meeting was over today I thought forget the train I'm taking Uber".
 

KevRyde

Well-Known Member
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I've seen several U/L drivers stopped in the traffic lanes along Wynkoop or practically in the middle of the 17th/Wynkoop intersection. I've posted before that as a full time driver, I'm not going to risk getting ticketed for the convenience of the rider. The Crawford Hotel valet guys are territorial d*cks if you pull over anywhere near their space, so I head for the spaces marked 5 minute loading/unloading along Wynkoop in front of the fountains. Lately I've noticed that taxis are parking/staging in those spaces leaving no spot to legally pull over for a pickup.
 

R44KDEN

Well-Known Member
My business partner and I took "the death train" as Kev likes to call it a few weekends ago. We rode out from Union Station in another car service (testing the competition) and then decided to take the train back. Completely over-rated and took way longer than it said on the tin. It cost us $18 for 2 (the tickets do last the whole day apparently). We gave them to people wanting to go to the airport. I cant for the life of me think of one reason as to why you would use it - and the DIA management have told the livery industry that the majority of users are DIA staff.
 

Frontier Guy

Well-Known Member
I've had two pickups at Union Station going to DIA that didn't want to wait for the train. One missed it by 1 minute, didn't want to wait 30 minutes for the next one. The other took it from DIA to Union station two days earlier, after walking three blocks from her hotel to get to Union Station, she was told the train was running 20 minutes late. Few weeks back, when I drove all week, my first fare on Monday was a couple that had taken the train from DIA to Downtown, then walked to the Brown Palace. They decided against the train back, when we talked about it, they admitted it wasn't all the airport hyped it, the ride took 45 minutes, not 37 minutes and it smelled like vomit. I've done several short hauls in that RINO area to the station at 40th and Blake, I usually try to upsell them on letting me take them, most are "no this is cheaper", when I point out the timeliness they say "Oh, we allowed extra time just in case".
 

Jimmy Bernat

Well-Known Member
Yeah man the upsell can be tough with those types of passengers . It boggles my mind that any ride with 2 people would want to take the train . $18 for 2 tickets plus at least $7 for the Uber Ride and you're sitting at $25 . It's $32 average from downtown to DIA on UberX or Lyft . You saved 7 bucks and had so much more hassle . The train just sounds like a royal PITA but I'm not huge on Public Trans in Denver
 

AvsUberJunkie

Well-Known Member
Picked up a pax in the highlands, he was going to Union Station. I asked if he was taking the train to the plane. He said yes, he was heading to Bali for a 2 week vacation. I casually said, "You know it broke down twice last week, don't you?
He said he wasn't aware of that. As we approached Union Station, he asked "how much would it be to go to DIA?" About "$30 to $35", i replied. He said "take me to DIA, i don't want to take a chance, plus I'm cutting it close on time."
Off to DIA we went....
 

Frontier Guy

Well-Known Member
And this, as drivers, is why we need to do our own marketing against the train, since Lyft and Uber aren't. If Lyft and Uber were smart, they would jointly execute a marketing plan targeting the problems with the train, the delays, the breakdowns, the 1+ miles walk for some of those breakdowns, and worse yet, the total lack of responsibility RTD has if you miss your flight. I had this same discussion with a pax last week about it, worst case scenario, our vehicle breaks down or we get a flat tire enroute.


But, let's look at the whole picture. Let's say you get a flat tire, ok, pax has two options, they can wait while you change the tire or request another car. If the pax chooses to wait, you can either complete the trip, so they aren't charged extra, which means you will also complete the trip to DIA for free (or maybe they will give a big tip) or you keep the meter running, obviously, you need to discuss this with the pax. Given the policies of Lyft and Uber, I suppose you could leave the meter running, email support and ask them to adjust the fare for the time you were changing the tire.

Let's say you break down, obviously, your car isn't going to be up and running in 30 seconds, ok, you complete the trip, and have the pax request a new car, OR, you request it for them so you can explain to the new driver the situation, so they aren't confused. Then, you and pax follow the recommendation and wait a safe distance from your car till the other driver arrives, transfer the luggage and away they go.

Either of these scenarios is better for the pax, safer for them, more responsible, than the "Death Train".
 

DenverLadee

Active Member
In the world of travel, the train just represents one more line that a traveler has to stand in and wait for during a, sometimes, long day of standing and waiting in multiple lines. I think using a rideshare to get to the airport and eliminating a few lines would be a great selling point.
 

jeffeCo

Active Member
And this, as drivers, is why we need to do our own marketing against the train, since Lyft and Uber aren't. If Lyft and Uber were smart, they would jointly execute a marketing plan targeting the problems with the train, the delays, the breakdowns, the 1+ miles walk for some of those breakdowns, and worse yet, the total lack of responsibility RTD has if you miss your flight. I had this same discussion with a pax last week about it, worst case scenario, our vehicle breaks down or we get a flat tire enroute.

Or they could be like lyft and give free trips to the light rail in centennial....

If I had lyft I wouldn't do a single pickup in centennial.
 

Jimmy Bernat

Well-Known Member
Has the train even effected anyone since opening 3.5 months ago ?
I almost feel like I get more DIA trips and have gotten some great surge rides to DIA thanks to the train breaking down
 

Frontier Guy

Well-Known Member
It's actually quite busy at certain times, I drove Monday night from 8 to 10, there must have been some kind of tournament or conference this last weekend of 20 somethings, I saw group of 20, luggage in tow, coming off the 16th St. mall heading to Union Station around 9pm. I've had probably a dozen pickups from Union Station on Sat. and Sun. mornings, if it gets slow finding other trips, I'll go down there and hang out. The cabbies all do it as well, and you see a lot of people being dropped off there. I do get the impression that a good portion of the users are airport employees. But, I've also had a few Highlands pickups going to DIA that said the train scared them because it was so unreliable.
 

Daisey77

Well-Known Member
I have not heard 1 good thing about this big, new, exciting. transportation breakthrough. I did have someone tell me the reason it takes so long, is because it was built on the old train tracks versus building new tracks, for it. Therefore, it has to stop at every single intersection
 

Frontier Guy

Well-Known Member
I have not heard 1 good thing about this big, new, exciting. transportation breakthrough. I did have someone tell me the reason it takes so long, is because it was built on the old train tracks versus building new tracks, for it. Therefore, it has to stop at every single intersection
Nope, it has it's own tracks, that run parallel to the UPRR main line, as has been pointed out in FB discussions, RTD screwed the pooch on this one, there is no reason for it to have been grade level at along most of it's route. The EB train has to slow dramatically at 40th and York for the curve, when technically, it should have been elevated or gone under ground to avoid the congestion it causes. At various times of the day, getting out of the UPRR intermodal ramp can take 15 minutes or more because of traffic backups. Also, further down at Smith Rd and Dahlia, Holly and Monaco they didn't design the crossings correctly and it makes it difficult for semi's making turns.
 

Urban Uber

Well-Known Member
I had a private ride from Boulder to DIA at 4:15am.. Arrived to DIA too early for any Uber trips.. Took a dead head trip to downtown just to check on the airport trips pre- 6am... Got a ping near the old US Mint.. Was skeptical of the destination.. But took the request.. Nothing else to do at this early hour.. Two young people from an AIRbnb rental with luggage.. Not bad so far.. Trip destination UNION STATION.. Crap.. Two blocks into the trip and I had to inquire.. With the train fare of $ 9.00 each and the travel time.. Why did you not take Uber to DIA... They both looked at each other and said SURE.. Off we go to the airport... They might have spent about $7-8.00 more but much nicer trip in our C Class Mercedes... Tipped $ 5.00 and gave them advice to check out Elway's for breakfast in the terminal...
 
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