DENVER, CO– The House Transportation and Local Government Committee today passed HB21-1186, sponsored by Representatives Matt Gray and Tom Sullivan, which would authorize RTD to make several improvements in order to boost ridership. The vote was 7-4.
“For Coloradans across our metro area, RTD is an essential service that they can’t live without,” said Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “This bill came out of a year-long effort and partnership with RTD, the Governor’s office, and transit experts to craft an accountability plan that will boost ridership and ensure the system meets the needs of our communities. I’m proud of the collaborative effort that led to the crucial accountability report and this important legislation.”
“As an RTD rider who takes the bus to work every day, I know what it’s like to rely on public transit and how critical these services are to our communities,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “This bill will give RTD the tools it needs to boost ridership, create new services, and lower costs. I’m excited to see how the increased flexibility will allow RTD to better serve our communities and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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.