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 DENVER, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver was named the No. 1 public transportation agency in the United States when the American Public Transit Association (APTA) presented RTD with its prestigious Public Transportation System Outstanding Achievement Award. The award was presented at the APTA Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, last week.
 The award is given annually to the transit agency which demonstrates extraordinary achievement in overall efficiency and effectiveness. RTD was cited for its increased ridership, human resources development, fiscal responsibility, air quality research, advancement of minorities and women, rapid transit development and total quality management. RTD's ridership increases, funding innovations and achievements are especially significant, since their success bucks the national trends of declining ridership and a need for heavy subsidies.
 "This award recognizes not only RTD but its community of transit riders that support the ideals of public transportation," Ken Hotard, chairman of RTD's board of directors said. "RTD's proactive strategies have paid off not only in increased ridership, but in preserving and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens within our six-county district. Our new light rail system will complement the ideals which have made our bus service so successful."
 Specifically, APTA recognized RTD for the following:
 Ridership -- Contrary to national trends, RTD has increased
 ridership for the past six years. Due to RTD's proactive
 strategies, more than 60 million passengers ride RTD per year.
 Fiscal Stability -- Through innovative transit programs that have
 'reinvented' public transportation service, RTD is one of the most
 fiscally stable and cost effective public transportation agencies in
 the country. RTD's security and fiscal policy are evident by
 Moody's recently upgraded bond rating -- an impressive A-1 and
 Standard and Poors bond rating of AA.
 Public/Private Partnership -- RTD currently has 25 percent of its
 bus service contracted to private agencies. In addition,
 public/private partnerships have resulted in new routes for Martin
 Marietta employees and the creation of RTD's Cultural Connection
 Special Services and Marketing -- RTD's commitment to innovative
 public transportation is also evident with its successful special
 services and creative marketing:
 -- Eco Pass -- A nationally recognized transit pass program
 which allows employers to provide all of their employees with
 transit passes at discount. Eco Pass holders are also able
 to use the Guaranteed Ride Home Program which allows them a
 free taxi ride home if no bus is available.
 -- CU Pass -- Highly discounted transit pass which is
 incorporated into University of Colorado student fees.
 -- Rockies Ride/Bronco Ride/Buffalo Ride -- Inexpensive,
 convenient sports shuttle service delivers fans to
 professional baseball and football games as well as
 University of Colorado Buffalo football games.
 -- Cultural Connection Trolley -- Taking citizens and tourists
 to 21 cultural and historical sites throughout Denver, the
 CCT is convenient (departs every 20 minutes from
 21 different stops) and inexpensive ($1 all-day per person).
 -- seniorRide -- Provides inexpensive transportation to area
 events for seniors within RTD's six-county district.
 -- Night Stop -- During night time hours (8 p.m. - 5 a.m.),
 this program allows passengers to direct their bus operator
 to drop-off points which are closer to passengers'
 destinations or are in safer, well-lit areas.
 -- skyRide Service -- RTD was the first transportation provider
 to introduce plans for service to Denver International
 Airport, scheduled to open this winter.
 -- World Youth Day Service -- RTD provided shuttle service to
 the 375,000 people who attended the Mass celebrated by Pope
 John Paul II. In addition, RTD provided extra service for
 events surrounding World Youth Day, the biggest event in the
 history of Denver.
 Customer Service -- On time performance (+- 5 minutes) at 88 percent
 system-wide, 95 percent Regional and Express. RTD operates 49 park-
 n-Ride facilities throughout its six-county district. Customer
 commendations up 29 percent.
 Commitment to Women and Minorities -- Awarded Minority Enterprises
 Inc.'s prestigious Corporation of the Year Award (1991). Sixty-
 seven percent minorities/women among Transportation Division
 Managers, 24 percent minorities among professionals, 21 percent
 women among professionals, 33 percent minorities/women among senior
 staff, 67 percent minorities among staff attorneys.
 16th Street Mall Shuttle -- RTD built the mile-long pedestrian mall
 located in downtown Denver. RTD also operates the convenient
 16th Street mall shuttle system.
 Rapid Transit -- RTD is currently constructing the first light rail
 system in Colorado as well as the "Downtown Express," a bus/high
 occupancy vehicle lane that will provide quick access to downtown
 for buses and carpools. Both of these projects are scheduled to
 open in October 1994.
 Commitment to Citizens with Disabilities -- RTD is one of the only
 transit agencies in the nation whose regular service buses are close
 to 100 percent wheelchair accessible. In addition, access-a-Ride,
 the metro area's first curb-to-curb transportation service for the
 disabled, will eventually fill the transportation needs of more than
 30,000 disabled citizens in RTD's six-county district.
 Commitment to Clean Air -- RTD is a nationally recognized leader for
 its state-of-the-art research into air quality. Running a portion
 of its bus fleet with particulate traps, methanol and compressed
 natural gas. RTD also developed the world's only EPA certified
 heavy duty engine high altitude emissions research center.
 Commitment to New Technology -- RTD is currently working to
 implement new technology such as the Automatic Vehicle Locator and
 the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System.
 Transit Incentive Test Programs:
 -- Resident Pass Program -- A test program which is designed to
 provide residential community homeowners with discount
 transit passes.
 -- Student Pass Program -- A test program for Boulder High
 School and New High School students which allows students to
 ride the bus for free.
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Andrew Hudson of RTD, 303-299-2571 or 303-299-2239/

CO: Regional Transportation District ST: Colorado IN: TRN SU:

MC -- DV001 -- 0537 10/11/93 08:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993

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