Transit Equity Office
Transit Equity Office
The Transit Equity Office (TEO), within RTD’s Civil Rights Division, ensures that RTD meets compliance with federal Title VI civil rights requirements — providing public transportation in a nondiscriminatory manner, promoting full and fair public involvement in RTD’s decision-making and ensuring meaningful access to RTD services and programs by persons with limited English proficiency. However, TEO also seeks to move RTD beyond compliance and achieve true transit equity. It is with an understanding of the vital role that public transportation plays for our customers that RTD — and the Transit Equity Office — seek to integrate transit equity into all of the agency’s programs, services and activities. In this manner, RTD can better serve the people who rely on public transportation the most while building a respectful, dignified and welcoming transit environment for all.
To achieve transit equity, TEO aims:
- To ensure that protected individuals and groups can participate in RTD’s programs, activities, facilities and services on an equal basis and without discrimination
- To build trust through transparent, authentic and inclusive community engagement with historically underrepresented customers
- To expand the language accessibility of RTD's programs, services and activities to better serve and include linguistically diverse customers
- To provide expertise on transit equity, using data to drive equitable agency decision-making, ensure equitable distribution of service and advance access as well as eliminate barriers to transit for historically underrepresented communities
RTD's Title VI Program, updated every three years, is the foundation of the Transit Equity Office's work. Please find the Title VI Program in English and Spanish below.
Transit Equity Nondiscrimination Complaint Management
The Transit Equity Office coordinates across the agency to determine if a violation of nondiscrimination policy occurred, and it ensures that all parties are fairly represented in an impartial manner.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, it is prohibited for federally funded agencies (such as RTD) to discriminate against customers on the basis of race, color or national origin. Title VI extends protection to individuals who experience discrimination, including harassment, based on their actual or perceived: (i) shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics; or (ii) citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct
religious identity. Further, under Colorado Revised Statutes §24-34-601, it is prohibited for a place of public accommodation to discriminate based on race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin (including limited English proficiency), religious identity, disability or ancestry.
If you believe that you may have been discriminated against in RTD’s services and programs, learn how to submit a transit equity nondiscrimination complaint here.
Equity analyses guide the agency’s decisions on providing transit in a way that prevents discrimination and ensures that all residents of the district have fair access to RTD’s services, programs and activities. For example, TEO conducts equity analyses for fare and major service changes. Whenever RTD modifies its fares, or a service change meets the “major service change” threshold, TEO examines whether those changes will have an adverse effect on minority and/or low-income populations.
TEO will also conduct equity analyses when RTD is determining the site or location of certain types of facilities, including storage facilities, maintenance facilities and operations centers. If an adverse effect on minority and/or low-income populations is identified, TEO will make recommendations to avoid, minimize or mitigate the impact.
The Transit Equity Office is actively working to include more equity considerations into agency decision-making. Review past equity analyses below.
Language Access Program
As part of its Title VI work, RTD must ensure that customers with limited English proficiency can meaningfully access RTD’s services and programs. The Transit Equity Office’s Language Access Program oversees how RTD overcomes language barriers and provides language assistance to these linguistically diverse customers. Efforts include translating the agency’s vital documents (such as discounted fare program information), conducting agency-wide training on language assistance and cultural competence, providing interpretation services, translating signage and other important initiatives.
Public Participation and Multicultural Partnerships
RTD’s public outreach and involvement activities prioritize engaging with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), low-income and linguistically diverse customers such as soliciting community feedback on large-scale projects (like the Systemwide Fare Study and Equity Analysis) and service changes.
To achieve this, the Transit Equity Office acts as a resource to other RTD divisions by conducting research using geographic mapping software and recommending culturally relevant, place-based engagement strategies that center communities of color, transit-reliant and financially burdened customers, refugees, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ individuals, seniors and youth, among other populations. TEO also conducts its own community engagement, contracting with local community-based organizations to collect surveys, host focus groups and distribute information on RTD’s services and programs.
Service Performance Monitoring
The Transit Equity Office continuously monitors RTD service performance based on the agency’s standards and policies regarding overcrowding, service frequency, on-time performance, service availability, distribution of stop/station amenities and vehicle assignments. These standards and policies provide a quantitative benchmark to ensure that RTD’s transit services are equitable and accessible. Review past service monitoring reports below.
As a designated recipient of FTA funds, RTD receives, administers and allocates funds to subrecipients and is therefore responsible for ensuring and documenting subrecipients’ compliance with Title VI. As part of its subrecipient monitoring, TEO works with subrecipients to collect and review Title VI documentation as well as assist subrecipients and their contractors with compliance (e.g., via training and desk audits).