RTD launching elevator pilot program to address illegal activities

RTD will launch a 90-day pilot program on Sunday, March 17, at select elevator locations in an effort to limit illegal activities and address long-standing complaints from customers. As part of this pilot, three elevator locations at high-usage rail stations will be reprogrammed to rest with their doors open.

The elevator doors at Nine Mile, Colorado and Southmoor stations will remain open until a destination floor is selected, close before the elevator is in motion, and remain open at all other times.

“Since January2022, RTD has had a laser focus on creating a welcoming transit environment that yields a pleasant and seamless customer experience,” said Debra A. Johnson, RTD General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. “I am confident that this pilot program will provide customers with a greater sense of personal safety and security, knowing that the agency’s infrastructure is being used for its intended purpose.”

The operational adjustment is part of RTD’s Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) activities across the entire system. Over the last year, RTD has upgraded lights, improved landscaping, added TV monitors that display security feeds, and installed smoke detectors in public restrooms across its service area. CPTED is a multi-pronged approach aimed at reducing crime and deterring offenders at stations, stops, and facilities.

“Every month, RTD receives hundreds of calls for service and customer complaints related to unwanted and illegal activities taking place inside our elevators,” said Dr. Joel Fitzgerald Sr., Chief of Police and Emergency Management. “These activities not only impede customer access to RTD’s services but also obstruct our efforts to create a welcoming transit environment. Setting elevators to a default open status dissuades usage to anything other than what is intended.”

In January and February of this year, RTD received more than 350 reports of less-than-optimal conditions for these three stations.

Through mid-June, RTD will closely monitor calls for service, customer comments, and reports of unwanted activities occurring in and around the elevators included in the pilot. All data gathered will be collated and compared with baseline metrics provided by RTD Transit Police (RTD-PD) prior to the pilot’s launch. Additionally, qualitative data will be gathered from customers to better understand their experience.

RTD will use the data comparisons to determine if there area reduction in calls and incidents reported,a decline in vandalism and damage to the elevators, and a decrease in customer complaints about cleanliness. The agency will then fully assess the pilot’s effectiveness and overall customer impact. Results of the assessment will be used to determine if the pilot should continue at the three locations, along with expanding the program to additional elevators across the agency’s system.

By RTD Staff