Accessibility   |   Bus   |   Management & Operations   |   Motorcoach   |   Rail   |   Sustainability   |   University

May 2013

Denver RTD Generating Innovative Ideas to Fuel Expansion

A fleet of 40-foot Gillig hybrid-electric BRT buses help RTD attain their sustainability goals.

A fleet of 40-foot Gillig hybrid-electric BRT buses help RTD attain their sustainability goals.
A fleet of 40-foot Gillig hybrid-electric BRT buses help RTD attain their sustainability goals.
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.


Write a letter to the editor
deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine
[ Request More Info about this product / service / company ]

    There are no comments.

E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - May 2013

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • Denver RTD’s Innovation Fuels Transit Expansion
  • Bus Maintenance Survey
  • Partnerships, Trip Subsidies Help Curb Paratransit Costs
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue