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What is the Future of Commuting, Outreach to N Line Riders, and more  — read on!
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February 2021

The Smart Commuter

RTD Issues Climate Bonds Certified Green Bonds | All about ETRPs | N Line Rider Outreach | Telework Myth of the Month | Future of Commuting Video | Advancing Adams Engages the Public | and news to peruse — read on!

N Line riders experienced several days of problematic service the week of February 8, resulting from several compounding, but unique, system problems: a switch problem that required a bus bridge; a power issue in the train yard; and a brief issue with the train’s dispatch communications system.  RTD shares:  "While it’s rare to have these issues occur we realize this has impacted our customers. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you."

A regular N Line Rider said of the problem, "The sudden change in service was surprising and disappointing.  I've riden the N Line for months, and it's a great way to get downtown.  I hope to be riding again like normal tomorrow."

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RTD is issuing Climate Bonds Certified green bonds, which go on sale February 18.  Transit is a green, climate-friendly and socially equitable travel option, and therefore a very good fit with sustainability-minded investors.  

“Improving the quality of life of RTD’s employees and customers, as well as residents of and visitors to our region, has remained a longstanding goal since our district was founded five decades ago," said RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson.  "Issuing these bonds demonstrates our commitment to addressing one of the biggest challenges of our time.”

RTD is issuing these bonds with the intent to appeal to a wider audience of potential investors, such as those that invest in socially conscious investment instruments. The proceeds from these refunding bonds are being used for RTD's efforts to provide services that are environmentally sustainable and provide transit through clean vehicles (like electrification).

Learn more on the RTD website.
Do you remember hearing about RTD's upcoming trip-booking app for FlexRide (hint:  we covered it back in September).  The final app, "RTD Trip Planner with FlexRide" is now available for download.  With mobile payment coming soon, this new app will change the face of the FlexRide system for RTD passengers.
Smart Commute's focus and mission is to support travel in the North Denver Metro.  We work every day to support you, the people traveling into, out of, and within this area.  You are our customers.

Smart Commute is also part of a greater region.  We are the Way to Go Program provider for the North Denver Metro, and Way to Go is one of our core programs.  Across the Denver metro, other Way to Go Providers serve their territories in the same way:  helping people get where they need to go.  This partnership helps us to support customers across our region, uniformly.  

While there are many ways we serve our customers, one of the most significant is through Employer Trip Reduction Plans.  While we rarely use the formal title, an Employer Trip Reduction Plan (ETRP) is a product of collaboration between Smart Commute and an organization that seeks to shift commute trips from drive-alone into other modes.  

ETRPs can draw from a wide variety of strategies, from information-based, to encouragement, to incentives.  Financial incentives tend to yield the most behavior change, although we have found that making commuters comfortable with their choices and providing motivation can also influence action.  When Smart Commute works with an employer to develop an ETRP, we start with analysis in order to narrow the field of potential strategies, and determine which will be most effective.

Commuters themselves benefit from increased travel options, which can reduce stress and provide cost savings.  Employees appreciate having choices, even if they often choose to drive alone.  

Employers also benefit.  Some can reduce the parking they lease, or free up more space for parking customers.  Offering employees travel choices also tends to reduce turnover.

Smart Commute is currently working with employers on ETRP strategies following results from our annual North Metro Commuter Survey.  However, we can start working at any time with new employers; simply contact us.
RTD Riders:  Sign Up for real-time alerts for your routes on the RTD Rider Alerts page.

Waiting for the N Line?  Check out RTD NextRide, available by phone, tablet or computer.
A great, short video:  How Working Remotely Will Change More Than Work
Workplace banter is given far too much credit for innovation. Most innovators strike gold in their own heads on their own time—something they may have more of as productive teleworkers. The reality is that office conversations are often non-work-related and even harmful, as is the case with office gossip. Technology has made virtual collaboration easy and convenient and remote teams can build amazing camaraderie on text channels and videoconferences.

Results follow regardless of physical proximity when managers foster cultures of inclusion, collaboration, and creativity.
In early February, Smart Commute supported RTD in its outreach to N Line riders.  The team was blessed with warm weather, and was able to talk to passengers about the service, and collect survey-based feedback.
Advancing Adams is the name of a process Adams County is using to crafting a Comprehensive Plan; create a Transportation Master Plan; and update the Parks, Open Space, and Trails Plan.

In early February, Adams County hosted an online public meeting with good participation.  The presentation was peppered with land use, transportation, and open space facts, and included a lot of live participant polling questions.

For ways to get involved, visit the Advancing Adams web page.

News (etc) to Peruse

Buttigieg On Biden Administration's Priorities For Transportation Department (NPR)
Will Empty Denver Skyscrapers Fill Up Again With Our New Work From Home Normal? (CPR)
To Meet Climate Goals, Think Outside the Electric Car (Bloomberg CityLab)
Northwest Rail: end of line hopefully won't be Westminster (Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel)
Smart Commute is the Way to Go provider for the north metro area. Learn about this regional program at waytogo.org.
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