RTD's Top 10 List for 2020
Now that 2020 is mercifully drawing to a close, here's a look at what RTD was able to accomplish despite a tough year full of challenges and loss.
- RTD’s overall response to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. In early March, no one knew how much the coronavirus would impact our lives. RTD quickly jumped into action, working hard to acquire PPE for frontline employees; purchasing new electrostatic cleaners and changing the way employees clean RTD vehicles; quickly mobilizing office employees to work from home; pivoting employees to conduct tasks other than their normal ones, such as making masks and cleaning light rail trains; modifying how RTD delivers service to keep people safe by suspending front-door boarding and fares for a time and providing more service on busier routes so customers could social distance.
- RTD hired its first female general manager and CEO, Debra A. Johnson. Debra started her first day on Monday, Nov. 9 at 4 a.m., visiting employees in RTD divisions before holding an All Hands meeting for employees and a news conference for the media.
- RTD opened the much-anticipated N Line on Sept. 21. RTD’s latest FasTracks project began service to socially distanced fanfare. This is the first commuter rail line RTD operates. By opening the N Line, RTD added more service to the northern suburbs with 13 miles of track and seven new stations.
- RTD designed, manufactured and installed its own operator barriers on all RTD buses. More than two dozen people devoted about 6,000 hours of labor to the project to date, including about 2,100 hours of overtime. The extraordinary effort to equip close to 1,000 vehicles in RTD’s bus fleet with new pandemic protections was launched early in the summer, as operators were fearful of being exposed to infection from customers passing close by each day. RTD was able to make them for about $400 a piece compared to $5,000 by bus manufacturers and other suppliers.
- RTD, Lyft and Masabi launched mobile ticketing for public transit. Customers in the Denver metro region are the first to be able to purchase RTD fares through the Lyft app to ride the agency’s buses and trains.
- RTD received an FTA grant to allow for integrated RTD, CDOT mobile ticketing in the Transit app. The $687,000 award allows RTD and CDOT to work with their mutual mobile ticketing provider, Masabi, and app partner Transit to develop a multimodal trip planning and payment integration feature in the Transit app.
- RTD’s police force continued to transform. At the beginning of the year, RTD expanded its K9 unit to add K9 Officer Corey Averill and his dog Max. RTD’s police unit also created a Lifesaving Medal for officers who are directly responsible for the saving of a human life. Finally, RTD received the $180,000 HOPE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation that will allow the agency to hire a full-time community outreach coordinator on issues affecting homeless residents.
- RTD rebuilt rail at 14th and Stout, making it one of RTD’s most complex engineering feats. RTD shut down service into downtown for two weeks to rebuild what looks to the public like a gentle curve of light rail tracks at 14th and Stout streets as the inaugural Central Line begins its loop through downtown.
- RTD received the Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year award from WTS Colorado for being the first in the world for customers to plan their transit trips with real-time information, buy tickets and ride RTD’s buses and trains – all from the Uber app.
- RTD marked important anniversaries in 2020: The one-year anniversary of the opening of the G Line and the E, F, R extension and the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the Southwest Line.