DENVER, CO– The House today passed HB21-1186, sponsored by Representatives Matt Gray and Tom Sullivan, which would boost RTD ridership by providing the transportation district with greater flexibility to lower fares and take advantage of new potential revenue streams. The vote was 38-24.
“Today we passed important legislation to address critical challenges facing our transit system,” said Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “This bill is the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort to identify how we can improve services and bring greater accountability to RTD. By providing RTD with necessary tools, this bill aims to boost ridership and ensure RTD is serving all of our communities.”
“Every day, I join hundreds of thousands of Coloradans and take an RTD bus to work,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “Our communities rely on RTD and public transit to get to work, see friends, and travel throughout the metro area. After the devastating impacts of the pandemic, I’m excited to see how RTD will work to boost ridership, create new services, lower costs and bounce back stronger.”
HB21-1186 acts on the recommendations offered by the RTD Accountability Committee report. It includes three provisions aimed at creating new revenue sources, boosting ridership, and improving RTD services. The bill repeals the requirement that 30 percent of RTD operating costs be covered by fare revenue, allowing RTD to reduce fares in order to boost ridership as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows RTD to develop District properties for retail, commercial or residential purposes to generate new revenue streams and attract a wider ridership. Finally, HB21-1186 allows RTD to contract with nonprofits and local governments to provide critical services and help lower the overall operating costs.