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Time to remove unnecessary state rules that undermine Denver regional transit

HB21-1186 removes state requirements that are counterproductive to operating good transit
For Immediate Release

DENVER - CoPIRG is calling on the House Committee on Transportation and Local Government to pass HB21-1186, entitled Regional Transportation District Operation, sponsored by Representatives Gray and Sullivan, and Senators Winter and Bridges. The bill would remove a set of state requirements that are unnecessary and could be counterproductive to operating a transit system that can transport more people.

Statement from CoPIRG executive director Danny Katz:

"On behalf of CoPIRG, the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, I’m asking you to vote yes for HB21-1186, entitled Regional Transportation District Operation, sponsored by Representatives Gray and Sullivan, and Senators Winter and Bridges. 

For our health, our safety and our children's future, we need a transit system in the Denver metro region that offers fast, frequent, and affordable service that provides a real transportation option for everyone. 

Our current transportation system is too dependent on single occupancy vehicles to complete trips. This leads to unnecessary amounts of pollution, unnecessary traffic fatalities and inefficiencies that cost people time stuck behind the wheel of a car.

More people would travel by transit, reducing pollution, increasing safety and moving people efficiently, but the Regional Transportation District (RTD) needs all the tools in their tool belt to be able to operate a state-of-the-art-transit system that meets the needs of more people. 

HB21-1186 removes a set of state requirements that are unnecessary and could be counterproductive to operating a transit system that can transport more people. 

We support removing the farebox recovery requirement. This requirement can artificially drive up the cost to the rider of using transit and RTD should have the flexibility to set fares that maximize ridership while meeting their annual budget. 

We also support removing limits on what RTD can do with their facilities including charging and managing parking, and providing retail and services on site. Again, RTD should have the ability to manage their facilities in ways that improve the transit experience, which can encourage and support transit ridership. 

These recommendations come from the RTD Accountability Committee, which has been working for the last year on a series of recommendations to improve transit in the region. 

Please vote yes on HB21-1186 and remove unnecessary restrictions that can hamstring the ability of RTD to offer high-quality transit, which is critical for a safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation system overall."

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