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CO RTD DIRECTOR District A

Regional Transit District (RTD) is governed by a 15-member, publicly elected Board of Directors. Elections are staggered with eight (8) seats open in this general election. They are elected to a four-year term by the voters in their specific district. Board members actively support and advocate for constituents’ concerns, while providing governance and establishing policies for the agency.The eight Directors for Districts A, D, E, F, G, H, I, and M will be elected in 2020.The Regional Transportation District provides public transportation in eight counties including all of Boulder, Broomfield, Denver and Jefferson counties, parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, and a small portion of Weld County. Services include bus, rail, shuttles, ADA paratransit services, demand-responsive services like FlexRide, special event services, vanpools, and many more. The Regional Transportation District was created in 1969 by the 47th session of the Colorado General Assembly.ELECTION INFO: General Election ballots will start to be mailed on October 9th, 2020. Voter Service and Polling Centers open on Monday, October 19th, 2020. Ballots must be received via mail or at drop-off no later than Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, by 7 pm. If you have not received your ballot or need a replacement, contact your local Clerk & Recorder Elections Office.Junta de Directores de RTDEl Distrito de Tránsito Regional (RTD) es gobernado por una Junta Directora de 15 elegidos públicamente. Las elecciones son espaciadas y tiene ocho (8) cargos abiertos para esta elección general. Son electos por votantes de su distrito específico para un mandato de cuatro años. Los miembros de la junta apoyan activamente, y defienden a constituyentes mientras proporcionan gobernación y establecen políticas para la agencia. Se elegirán a los 8 Directores para los Distritos A, D, E, F, G, H, I, y M en 2020.El Distrito de Transporte Regional proporciona transporte público en ocho condados, incluyendo completamente a los Condados de Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, y Jefferson, partes de los Condados de Adams, Arapahoe y Douglas, y una parte pequeña del Condado de Weld. Los servicios incluyen servicios de autobús, tren, colectivo, servicios de paratránsito de ADA, servicios determinados por necesidad como FlexRide, servicios de eventos especiales, caravanas, y muchos más. El Distrito de Transporte Regional fue creado en 1969 por la 47ª sesión de la Asamblea General de Colorado.INFROMACIÓN SOBRE LAS ELECCIONES: Las papeletas de votación para las Elecciones Generales empezarán a ser enviadas el 9 de octubre del 2020. Los Centros de Servicios Electorales se abren el lunes, 19 de octubre del 2020. Las papeletas electorales deben ser enviadas por correo o entregadas en un centro de entrega a más tardar a las 7pm el martes, 3 de noviembre del 2020. Si no ha recibido su papeleta electoral o necesita un reemplazo, comuníquese con su Funcionario Oficial de la Oficina de Elecciones local.

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  • Candidate picture

    Kyle Bradell
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Tim Nelson
    (NP)

  • Kate Williams
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What will be your first priority as an RTD Director and why?

How would you address the RTD driver shortage that affected services prior to the COVID pandemic? 

What actions would you recommend the RTD implement to recover from lack of revenue caused by the COVID pandemic?

Background -9 Years as an Accountant. -3 Years as a Full-time Uber/Lyft Driver. -2.5 Years as a Volunteer member of RTD's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities (ACPD). -Travelled extensively around the world in which I experienced and observed public transit systems. I know what works.
My first priority will be to consolidate the 8 light rail lines to 4 light rail lines to improve operations, labor, expenses, etc. The best part of consolidation is that RTD can put 2 trains per hour back into Aurora that the Board and the District A incumbent voted to take away.

Presently, the Aurora Line travels from Peoria all the way south to Ridgegate. There is no need for it to travel that far south when there are other rail lines that travel to Ridgegate. In order for 2 trains to come back, the Aurora Line must have its southern terminus at Belleview and riders would make a simple transfer to go north or south.

For the time it takes from Belleview to Ridgegate and back to Belleview, which is 40 minutes, it is the exact same time from Belleview to Peoria. This change would cost almost nothing to the taxpayer. RTD can keep its promise of 4 trains per hour in Aurora which will increase ridership and, ultimately, revenue.
Last year we all heard about the labor shortage for the buses and the trains and the ensuing daily cancellations.

One possible solution is when one applies for the role of bus operator or train operator, the Human Resources department must respond within one week of receiving a completed application to inform the applicant: no, we do not want you, or, yes, we would like to bring you in for the first round of interviews. A background check is not needed at this point in time.

By acknowledging the applicant early on, it will establish good employee morale as the applicant will know and see that RTD does care about its employees from the very beginning. Thereby, hopefully, retaining the employee for a good, successful career with RTD.
1. Consolidate the light rail lines to improve operations and costs as discussed in Question 1. 2. Change the HR hiring process as discussed in Question 2. 3. For non-union employees, continue the required furlough days. 4. Pay Cuts - Any RTD employee making more than $174,000 would get a pay cut — including the new GM/CEO. 5. Eliminate the newly formed “Accountability Committee” that, presently, has been allocated $200,000. This Committee is going up against RTD’s own “Reimagine RTD” committee. 6. Eliminate parking fees at all Park-N-Rides until we are back to normal. If we eliminate the parking fees, then we can eliminate the employees that scan license plates and hand out tickets. If there are no more of these employees, we can save on labor, health insurance, worker compensation claims, car insurance, gasoline, etc.
Background As an educator, RTD rider, and transit advocate, I have developed a lens into RTD’s strengths and needs. I believe our buses and trains have the potential to not just be “people-movers” but vehicles to greater economic equality, a healthier population, and more sustainable future for all of Denver.
Contact phone (720) 515-9408
Teléfono (720) 515-9408
Correo electrónico nelsonforrtd@gmail.com
As RTD Director for District A, I would champion the Reimagine process. COVID has presented a significant challenge to the agency, but concerning trends in service efficiency, ridership, and finances have been longstanding. So what RTD needs is not a piecemeal approach to service optimization but to boldly rethink what service means for the eight counties in which it operates. This requires mapping routes that will serve the most people, do so more often, and run faster than before. Redesigning the RTD network with a demand-driven approach will result in vehicles operating in areas where conditions are most favorable to transit (existing ridership, population density, and transit dependence). Frequency will increase because vehicles will be diverted from areas of lesser need, and ridership will follow because transit will become more convenient. Per-ride subsidies should also decrease because vehicles will be operating closer to capacity.
The shortage will continue to loom over RTD unless it communicates to operators that they are highly valued. First, RTD must ensure that operators are financially secure in their positions. Recently, the starting bonus for new operators was eliminated, and the agency has drafted plans to cut hundreds of positions. Attracting and keeping qualified operators necessitates a genuine financial commitment instead of treating them as an afterthought. Second, overtime procedures should be amended. Operators working additional shifts has been necessary in the past and may be again in the future, but it is more constructive to allow operators to choose rather than management mandating overtime. Third, RTD must make changes to operators’ on-board experience. Theirs is a complex, stressful job that requires a range of split-second decisions—all while contending with traffic. As such, RTD should continue to bolster its digital ticketing and hire on-board ambassadors for customer interactions.
RTD’s approach should derive from its mission to serve riders. First, RTD should adopt a four-tiered compensation reduction package for salaried employees. Those in the highest tier (above 150K) would experience more significant reductions than those in the lowest tier (70-80K). Second, RTD should suspend FISA deposits and consider using the reserves to fund service. Viable and more cost-effective alternatives to the outstanding FasTracks projects exist. Finally, RTD must improve service. Vehicle miles traveled in RTD’s service area have begun to rebound to pre-COVID levels, but transit boardings still lag because using it is less convenient and feels unsafe. To improve convenience, RTD should prioritize frequency on its most-popular routes, partner with cities to add more transit-only lanes, and amend boarding procedures to limit wait times at stops. To improve safety, RTD should practice frequent, thorough vehicle cleaning, social distancing on-board, and stringent mask enforcement.
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