Bus

Denver RTD Generating Innovative Ideas to Fuel Expansion

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

Page 1 of 4

The first portion of RTD’s FasTracks program, the West Line light rail line, will debut late April.
The first portion of RTD’s FasTracks program, the West Line light rail line, will debut late April.

Delivering quality service to the more than 2.8 million people residing in Denver Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) expansive service area, while managing a multi-billion dollar transit expansion program, takes precision, planning and innovative thinking. It is this innovation that has been the key to RTD GM Phillip A. Washington’s ability to develop new revenue streams and bolster the workforce to help keep the system and its projects moving forward.

Funding initiatives pursued include boosting sales tax revenue, maximizing current assets and creating a pooled savings account, while leadership programs and collaborative partnerships have helped bolster its workforce.

Economic challenges
RTD’s services include light rail, fixed-route bus and paratransit, as well as seasonal bus service to sporting events. The agency uses a fleet of nearly 1,000 buses and 172 light rail vehicles to serve 40 municipalities in six counties plus two city/county jurisdictions within a 2,300-square-mile service area.

RTD is funded with a combination of farebox recovery (20%) and collected sales tax, advertising, grants and interest income revenues (80%). Currently, the agency receives 0.6% from sales tax for its base system operations and 0.4% of sales tax for its capital program. Like many transit systems in the U.S., RTD has seen their sales tax revenues fall due to the economy.

During these fiscally challenging times, the agency froze salaries, locked in fuel prices, restricted travel and deferred projects.

“We bit the bullet last year and cut service by eight to nine percent,” Washington says. “It was tough, but as a result we stabilized our budget.”
Washington says he doesn’t anticipate significant service reductions or fare increases for the next few years.

Additionally, RTD just negotiated a five-year collective bargaining agreement. “That length of time is really unprecedented in this industry,” he says. “To do that within the parameters of the budget was really significant.”

The precarious economic outlook also made it a challenge to continue moving the agency’s mass transit expansion program — FasTracks — forward. To prevent any delays on this front, RTD developed innovative ways to generate additional funding.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

New Flyer advances 2nd-year production of SEPTA diesel-electric hybrids

The buses will be deployed in the City of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs of Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester, supporting four million people living in and around southeastern Pennsylvania.

New Flyer now offering Allison's increased Accessory Power II tech

The option uses electrification to power accessory components for additional fuel economy.

NYCT to add 377 New Flyer Xcelsior buses

New buses will include enhanced safety and comfort, better driver visibility, pedestrian turn warning, Wi-Fi, and USB ports to improve the bus rider experience.

Electric buses, training key focuses for 2nd annual Transit Maintenance Forum

This year’s conference at Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center Sept. 11 to 13 with an expanded program that begins Monday afternoon with a training session each from Cummins and Allison Transmission officials.

New Flyer to offer fuel-saving Allison Transmission tech

Also announced that the Government of the District of Columbia is purchasing 26 Xcelsior clean diesel 40-foot buses.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close