Sharing responsibility to keep RTD safe


RTD, along with more than 100 other transit agencies, has joined the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)’s Health & Safety Commitments (HSC) program. This means the agency is fulfilling the highest industry commitments for keeping our transit system safe during COVID-19.

RTD is proud to have met these commitments. Early on, the agency adopted practices and policies that make sense for our transit system, riders and community. Some of these practices were purchasing electrostatic cleaners; cleaning and sanitizing our vehicles daily; designing, manufacturing and installing operator barriers; and providing masks to operators and passengers who need them.   

Every community is at a different phase in fighting this virus, and we know our community best. Our practices meet the industry commitments and our local safety needs.  

But RTD can’t do it alone. We are all in this together. Keeping public transit safe has to be a mutual commitment between our agency and our riders. Customers can do their part by maintaining social distance on our vehicles and platforms; waiting for the next train or bus when the vehicle is too crowded; wearing masks on our vehicles and platforms and practicing personal hygiene by washing hands frequently and staying home when sick.  

APTA asked more than 2,200 transit users what would make them feel safe riding public transportation. Based on those responses, our industry identified four key areas that transit systems need to address to earn riders’ confidence.  They are:  

  • Follow public health guidelines from official sources.  
  • Protect each other by cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles and facilities. frequently, and requiring face coverings and other protection.  
  • Keep passengers informed and empowered to choose the safest times and routes to ride.  
  • Put health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill.  

RTD also conducted a similar survey this past spring to determine what would make RTD riders feel safe to ride on transit again. Many of the safety measures riders say they would like to see before returning to RTD are in place. 

In addition, studies from around the world show no connection between using transit and transmitting COVID-19. To reassure the community even further, RTD is working every day to keep our riders and employees safe by studying and increasing air flow in our vehicles.  

  • But we can’t keep the RTD system safe without you, our riders.  For every action we take, we ask riders to share the responsibility.  
  • We’re following official public health guidelines; we ask riders to follow them, too.  
  • We’re protecting each other by cleaning and disinfecting vehicles and facilities; we ask riders to clean their hands and wear face coverings.  
  • We’re giving riders the information they need about crowded vehicles and routes; we ask riders to respect other passengers’ space and, if possible, use transit at less busy times.  
  • We require our employees to stay home if they’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19; we ask riders to do the same.  

Just as our riders rely on us, we rely on our riders to protect themselves and one another by following these commitments. Public transit is essential to helping our community recover from this pandemic. We’re helping our riders feel confident by taking steps to keep them safe. The pandemic has shown how essential public transportation is to keep our communities functioning. Transit has been a lifeline for healthcare professionals, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees, and other essential workers, seniors and people with disabilities who require meals, medicine, necessities, and life-sustaining services. Getting people to jobs, school, health care, entertainment, sports and the arts, and life’s opportunities is integral to the recovery and well-being of every community.  

RTD will be there. As people reconnect to what they need, love, and aspire to achieve, transit will continue to adapt to riders’ preferences, travel patterns, and post-pandemic needs.