RTD Director Tom Tobiassen, who represents District F, and Dave Genova, RTD Assistant General Manager of Safety, Security and Facilities, host one of RTD's first telephone town hall meetings. Photo courtesy Denver RTD.
Denver's Regional Transportation District
(RTD) started a new way of reaching out to the public through telephone town hall meetings. RTD Directors Bill McMullen and Tom Tobiassen each called residents of their districts to talk about RTD’s programs, services and projects.
The first two telephone town halls of a 15-meeting series occurred Monday evening, with residents of the two districts participating to learn about local bus and rail service, RTD’s FasTracks transit expansion program and other projects under way. Through the town hall series, RTD will randomly call more than 400,000 people, through innovative telephone technology, and invite them to participate in the telephone forum. This allows board members to reach out and speak directly with members of the community.
”I was very impressed with the number of residents of my district who joined us for last night’s update,” said RTD District E DirectorBill McMullen. “We were able to engage in one-on-one conversations and answer questions for far more people than we have with traditional public meetings.”
During McMullen’s meeting, when participants were asked through an automatic polling option through their key pad what the biggest benefit of building out the FasTracks program is, 37% said more rail transit will provide more ways to get around, with 33% saying it will reduce traffic congestion.
When the same question was asked during Tom Tobiassen’s meeting, 39% said FasTracks will reduce traffic congestion and 31% said it’ll provide more ways to get around.
“This is a perfect example of how technology can be used to bring people together,” said RTD District F Director Tobiassen . “Allowing people to be engaged in what’s going on in their community from the comfort of their homes, whether that be through telephone or Internet technology, is the wave of the present and the future, and we need to do all we can to reach out in these ways.”
The meeting series will continue through Dec. 15.
FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit program to expand rail and bus service throughout the RTD service area. It will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District.