‘Reimagine RTD’ launches public engagement today with first telephone town hall meeting
Is the Regional Transportation District serious about hearing ideas from the public?
As serious as 100,000 outbound phone invites.
With the transit agency’s two-year Reimagine RTD process kicking off tonight in a telephone town hall meeting with General Manager and CEO Dave Genova, RTD wants community involvement at every step of the comprehensive project to map the mobility of the future. As many as 3,000 people could be on the phone line with Genova by 6 p.m., when he will outline the goals of the project and take public questions and comments to help set the ambitious agenda.
Reimagine RTD will explore community needs, desires and realities throughout the metro Denver area as the transit agency forms plans to accommodate 3 million current residents and projected 30 percent growth in population and traffic by 2050. RTD sees its role as an “instigator and integrator” for the region, said agency CEO Genova.
“The landscape is changing, and we need to change along with it,” Genova said. “We know we have a big role to play in that, and how we integrate with other options.”
The Reimagine RTD project aims to finish in 2021 with a forward-thinking concept for long-term transit needs in the metro area, as well as an action plan for the agency’s Board of Directors and other community leaders. In addition to systematic designs for soliciting public input, the process will also include expert planning and technical committees to help guide the brainstorming.
To access today’s telephone town hall event, call 855-543-3425, or listen online. Fifteen similar events will follow in the coming weeks, one for each of RTD’s geographic districts. To determine which district you are in, click on this interactive map. Participants can offer questions by following a phone prompt or by going online to type in questions.
During past telephone town halls, anywhere from a few hundred to 3,000 people have joined the conversation, said Christina Zazueta, RTD’s Community Engagement Manager: “We get a lot of bang for our buck. There’s never a shortage of questions.”
Callers will also be able to use phone prompts to answer electronic polling questions that RTD will use as part of the public input process. Other potential topics for tonight’s meeting include:
- How best to balance geographic coverage of the metro area with demands on high-volume routes
- Connections to alternative transit options, such as bicycles or ride-sharing services
- The future of technology-based services such as autonomous vehicles
- Challenges the agency is having with bus and rail operator shortage.
The launch of Reimagine RTD’s public engagement comes as the transit agency also marks the 25thanniversary of its first light rail line, part of what has become an extensive regionwide rail service serving Denver and its suburbs. The D Line – then called the Central Rail Line – opened the first week of October in 1994. RTD now operates eight light rail lines and three commuter rail lines over nearly 100 miles of track. The newest commuter rail line to the northern suburbs, the N Line, is planned for a 2020 opening.
Balancing the needs of rail riders and bus riders, making optimal connections to alternate forms of transportation, and seeking funding to complete the FasTracks projects to Boulder and Longmont will be continuing topics of conversation during the Reimagine RTD process. More details about Reimagine RTD can be found here.