RTD update to COVID-19 pandemic
*A message from RTD:
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to change our lives, we want you to know that the health and safety of our riders, employees and their families continues to be the top priority for all of us here at the Regional Transportation District (RTD). We want to make sure you know about the proactive measures we’re taking to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We continue to clean our buses and trains daily, wiping down surfaces, hand rails, hand grips, etc. with industrial grade disinfectant. We are also providing our operators with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to keep their work areas clean. We have restricted public access to RTD facilities and are limiting time for our riders to congregate at our Denver Union Station Bus Concourse and Civic Center Station.
We are in close coordination with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Denver Office of Emergency Management. We have a strong collaboration of partners working together across the region and the state as we all do our part to combat this virus and its threat.
We’ve compiled answers to some of the frequently asked questions we’ve been getting. You can find our FAQs on our News Stop FAQs on RTD’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As more people stay home and practice social distancing, fewer people are riding transit. RTD is experiencing about a 60% decline in ridership. RTD is now providing about 139,000 trips each weekday, compared with 347,800 weekday trips one year ago. The agency is working to quantify the effects the pandemic is having on its ridership and solidify actual ridership figures. For comparison, transit agencies across the United States have reported that they are experiencing a drop in ridership ranging from 45%-80%.
We are committed to providing service to our customers, many of whom are transit dependent. For many, RTD is their lifeline. Continuing to provide service also serves the many healthcare workers and other professionals whose work is critical in fighting this disease.
RTD’s Access-a-Ride paratransit service also has seen a steady decline in bookings. While average weekday trip demand is typically around 3,000 trips per day, with a 3%-4% cancellation rate on the day of service, trip numbers are much lower and cancellation rates are higher. Therefore, we’re making a few temporary changes to our booking process.
Access-a-Ride will suspend five-day advanced bookings, allowing customers to book next day trips only. All standing orders from Friday, March 20, will be canceled. Customers can call 303-292-6560 to book trips. This information has been communicated to our customers in various ways, through the established customer messaging systems, media release, info on website, etc. These steps will reduce demand for staff and allow us to continue to provide essential trips for our customers. This is not a cut in service, but designed to better serve the customers who do need service during this time. This change will remain in place until Governor Polis lifts the state of emergency.
Transit Driver Appreciation Day
Wednesday, March 18, was International Transit Driver Appreciation Day – a very timely opportunity for us to thank our operators for the very important public service they provide. If you haven’t read the current blog post on our website, check it out. It’s a nice tribute to our wonderful operators.
In This Together
We are in strange times, like nothing we’ve experienced before. We continue to be nimble and adjust as COVID-19 evolves. We are being challenged as never before. But we will get through this together.
Things change quickly, so please keep up to speed on how RTD is addressing the pandemic by visiting RTD’s News Stop and follow us on social media for the latest developments. But more than anything, stay healthy and be safe.