Improve Service and Prepare for Future Transit Needs

The Board of Directors has adopted the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan including seven key strategies and a set of detailed initiatives for implementation in the next few years and beyond. The Board will review the Strategic Plan annually to check on timeliness, relevance and content of the seven key strategies.

Stellar Customer Service

Safety, reliability and on-time performance will remain our top priorities. We know that customer satisfaction is ensured by having a seamless interface between all RTD services — bus, rail, special services like Access-a-Ride, and information on the go.

Our ambition is not only to meet but to anticipate our riders' needs and expectations, specifically in terms of technology and immediate, reliable information. Finding new ways to engage our customers and improve our services will allow RTD to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate rather than react to customer needs.


  • Provide a seamless customer interface between RTD and contracted services
  • Enhance policies for accommodating needs of passengers on vehicles
  • Provide opportunities for customer engagement
RTD strives for stellar customer service at all levels - in our people, our vehicles, our services and in anticipating our rider

Safety Culture

Safety has been and remains one of RTD's highest priorities. In a 2015 employee survey more than 70% of employees responded favorably to questions about RTD’s safety priorities (72%), the safety of their work life (76%) and the ease with which they can report safety concerns (84%).

RTD will continue to build on an already robust safety culture. In order to take safety programs to the next level, RTD will establish safety goals and best practices, measure safety activity, eliminate hazards and unsafe work behaviors, and proactively improve our safety environment.


  • Build a strong safety partnership between management, employees and customers
  • Establish and implement an internal safety audit system for Bus Operations
  • Create safety training modules for management and supervisory personnel
  • Develop and implement a confidential, non-punitive safety reporting system for all employees to report hazards, unsafe acts, and unsafe conditions
  • Develop an enhanced safety communications and outreach program
  • Adopt and transition to a proactive safety management system (SMS) philosophy

Financial Sustainability

RTD is responsible for using taxpayer and passenger dollars responsibly and provide the best possible public transit service. In order to create a robust, modern transit system, RTD will develop a multi-year financial planning and a long-term comprehensive funding plan including both operating and capital needs.

Despite a very successful asset management program to keep RTD's system in a state of good repair, traditional funding will be insufficient to meet the future maintenance needs of an expanding RTD system. RTD will redouble efforts to explore new sources of income with public and private partners.


  • Direct funding to highest-priority projects and enhance strategic budget planning
  • Seek innovative funding opportunities to expand revenue sources
  • Preserve financial sustainability and maintain a structurally balanced long-range budget
  • Pursue financing opportunities to deliver better service and complete future system expansion projects
  • Attract and retain employees through competitive wages and benefits

Equitable and Accessible

RTD has at heart to continue improving access for people with disabilities including RTD's Access-a-Ride service and ADA access to fixed route service while keeping up the efforts to adhere to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design at all RTD facilities.

As more riders are walking, biking, and using car or ride share as alternatives to bus and personal vehicles to access our facilities, RTD will focus on improving the first and final mile connections to transit facilities. And, by the same token, RTD will also develop partnerships with local jurisdictions to promote the creation of vibrant and diverse communities around our facilities to help grow RTD's ridership.


  • Support and coordinate investments to improve first and final mile connections to transit facilities
  • Foster livable, equitable, and accessible communities at transit facilities
  • Optimize district-wide parking resources
  • Support ADA accessibility through adherence to Standards for Accessible Design and improved efficiencies with Access-a-Ride and fixed route services
  • Work with private and non-profit partners to collaborate on new technologies such as car and bicycle sharing, autonomous vehicles and other transportation innovations
Services like Access-a-Ride help ensure public transit choices for all people in the metro area.

Future Transit Demand

The FasTracks program is one of the most ambitious, large-scale transit expansion programs ever undertaken in the United States and will transform the region. Integrating the new commuter rail and bus rapid transit service into our existing bus and rail system will be essential to deliver better service.

While most of FasTracks will be in service by 2020, key components of the program will likely not be completed. During the next five years, RTD will explore financial and implementation strategies to keep these unfinished projects in the forefront and fully realize the voters’ 2004 vision. Additional funding through partnerships with local governments and private companies will be pursued.

Future transit development to address transit needs beyond 15-25 years must be planned now for implementation in the next 10+ years. Foreseeable transit needs include improving the existing system’s capacity, investing in bus rapid transit throughout the district, and exploring news ways to linking rail and bus rapid transit systems with other transit systems serving the rest of the Front Range.


  • Pursue ongoing enhancements and improvements to the existing transit system (services and facilities)
  • Work with partners to develop, fund and complete FasTracks and increase ridership
  • Continuously improve service delivery and reliability, including integration of new corridors with existing services
  • Continue long-term, advanced planning for system expansion projects
  • Partner with local communities to invest in transit-supportive infrastructure
  • Pursue a meaningful lessons-learned program to continuously improve project delivery
  • Maintain existing procedures that continually evaluate and adjust service, based on evolving service standards and budget needs
  • Establish a leadership role with other agencies to integrate transit services throughout Colorado
Services like Access-a-Ride help ensure public transit choices for all people in the metro area.

Technological Innovation

With the latest technology, RTD can more efficiently manage its business, assets, and operations. New tools can help RTD implement better strategic and investment decisions that can save time and money.

RTD also needs to be ahead of the curve to meet customer needs and adopt the technological innovations that have become the norm. RTD's priorities are to improve access to information and modernize the transit experience with user-friendly technology to allow for more seamless travel across the region.


  • Develop a 5-year Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Plan to assess the current state of technology development in the district and establish a roadmap for future technology development
  • Integrate technology systems to automate data transfers and improve service delivery
  • Establish agency-wide information governance strategy
  • Improve the rider experience with easy fare payment options through smart card technology
  • Implement real-time arrival information for bus and rail customers, providing riders with access from mobile devices, desktops, and public information displays
Real-time data display on mobile transit apps

Dynamic and Sustainable Workforce

RTD employees are the single most important asset in the organization. As the baby-boomer generation nears retirement, the agency needs to attract, train and serve employees with competitive benefits and career advancement opportunities and to improve collaboration and communication between teams while transferring knowledge to the next generation.

The upcoming completion of a large percentage of FasTracks will also require that RTD examine the best use of resources to shift focus from construction to maintaining existing and new assets.


  • Document institutional knowledge and develop information transfer tools to ensure capacity is retained in the face of retirements and attrition
  • Strengthen workforce by building on the success of leadership programs
  • Establish transition paths for workforce as the agency evolves
  • Build on wellness and rehabilitation services to enhance employee health and safety
  • Optimize the workforce to match the age and maturity of the transit system
  • Attract and train skilled workers in key trades
  • Foster a two-way communication culture with every level of the organization, including enhanced opportunities for Board/staff interaction
Our most valuable asset - our people.