RTD is ready for the next snow storm, are you?
Weather forecasters are warning the region of a big holiday snow storm to start as early as this evening. RTD is gearing up for the storm so passengers can safely arrive to their destinations.
Riders should do their part by planning ahead and staying informed. The best way to keep up-to-date on storm impacts is to follow the RTD Twitter account at @RideRTD. The next best way is to sign up for Rider Alerts.
Generally on snow days, service can be delayed by 10 – 30 minutes depending on the severity of the storm. RTD buses are navigating through the same traffic and road conditions as personal cars, so passengers are asked to be patient and leave early if possible. Rail can experience some delays too because of freezing of switches or reduced speeds due to safety. Bus and rail operations teams do everything they can to have the vehicles ready for the storm. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but RTD’s ultimate goal to get everyone safely to their destinations.
Safety is a core value at RTD and on snowy days, a number of checks and balances are in place to keep riders safe and warm. Bus drivers receive annual training that includes preparing for driving safely on icy or snow-packed roads.
Train operators must be aware of ice that can build up on the overhead catenary wires. To prevent these conditions from occurring, trains are run through the system around the clock to keep the lines clear of ice. Staff also conduct field inspections to check and exercise the track switches and their heaters.
Once aboard a RTD train or bus, riders can warm up – all trains and buses are heated to between 65 to 70 degrees and drivers only open and close doors when passengers are boarding or alighting. Steps on the trains are also heated to keep ice from forming. Bus steps can become slippery, so riders should use handrails and kick snow off before stepping on the bus. RTD staff and contractors also clear the snow from RTD bus stops, rail stations and shelters throughout its service area.
The Customer Care call center always experiences a higher call volume on snow days and the social media team responds to additional messages via Twitter and Facebook.
If necessary RTD will activate its ‘snow desk’ to monitor bus movement throughout the metro area. If a bus gets stuck, RTD crews are dispatched to assist. Some routes have chain/traction law restrictions, especially the mountain routes in Nederland, Evergreen, Pine Junction/Conifer and Boulder Canyon. When needed, buses will chain up and staff will be stationed at various locations to assist.
RTD appreciates all its drivers and other team members who are braving the storm to keep our community moving. Riders should plan for some delays and bundle up in case of increased wait times.