Denver RTD Generating Innovative Ideas to Fuel Expansion

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

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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.
Creating jobs
Complementing the Strategic Leadership Development Program is Workforce Initiative Now (WIN), a collaborative workforce partnership led by RTD to create career opportunities into the transportation industry. WIN was developed as a workforce strategy to maximize opportunities for unemployed and underemployed residents of the communities impacted by large regional infrastructure projects.

“It trains people to put them to work on construction projects, and capital programs; in this case, our FasTracks Program allows them entry into the industry,” Washington says.

The RTD also builds the WIN strategy into their contracts for work going out.

“If you bid on any of our jobs, you have to agree to allow and meet the goal of a percentage of WIN participants in this program,” he says. Since its inception in 2010, 300 participants have benefited from the program.

Light rail launch
By the end of April, RTD will begin to see the fruits of its labor when it launches the first portion of its FasTracks expansion program, the 12-mile West Line light rail line. Features include eleven new stations, six park-n-rides, 7.5-minute frequencies during rush hour, with projected ridership of 20,000 to 25,000 passengers per weekday.

“We have exceeded all of our ridership projections for every line that we’ve opened,” says Washington, “We’ll do the same thing here.”

The line is opening under budget and eight months ahead of schedule, which is practically unheard of, according to Washington. When asked how RTD was able to achieve this, he says, “Through top project management and military precisionI’m a big proponent of empowering people, but holding them accountable.”

For an interview with GM Phillip Washington, click here.

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