DENVER (CBS4) – A transit system plagued with issues has caught the attention of state lawmakers. An ongoing driver shortage and hundreds of delayed and canceled routes within RTD prompted the introduction of a bill that would change how the agency operates.
State Rep. Dominique Jackson sponsored the bill after complaints from her constituents in Aurora started rolling in.
“They need RTD to get to school, to get to work, to get to their doctor’s appointments, to live their lives,” she said.
Josh Winkler with the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition says citizens who are rely on public transit are looking for solutions now.
“It has become a very user-unfriendly system,” he said.
The coalition supports and even helped draft the bill with those needs in mind.
“We can’t ride Lyft. We can’t ride Uber. They don’t have accessible vehicles. Cabs are really hard to find,” Winkler said.
Jackson says the bill would add four new members to the board. Two would have expertise in transit and two new voting members, people who depend on the service including those with a disability.
“We didn’t come up with this because ‘Wow, let’s just take over RTD.’ Trust me that’s not what we want to do. We came up with this because people were coming to us,” she said.
Winkler says it’s a step in the right direction.
“This probably isn’t the end. This probably isn’t the be all solution,” he said.
A statement from RTD about the bill in part reads:
“RTD had limited time to provide the bill sponsors with responses on the bill language, but last week RTD staff and Board members did share comprehensive information on concerns and efforts that RTD already implements. RTD will continue to work collaboratively with its legislative partners with hopes of implementing policy that strengthens the agency’s ability to deliver transit in an effective, safe and efficient manner.”