Last week we shared how Sheryl Machado, the Denver South team, and our community partners are working together to increase awareness of transportation options beyond single occupancy vehicles in the region, through educational and outreach initiatives for both employers and employees. Through these efforts we seek to reduce traffic congestion to ensure Denver South remains a desirable place to live, work, and play.

Every day, we are working with our partners to make things convenient for both commuters and residents. For example, RTD already offers eco-friendly transportation solutions throughout Denver South; we want to ensure their services are a viable, sustainable, top-of-mind transportation option for those who live and work in the region. A key way we accomplish this is by educating employers about RTD’s EcoPass program, which enables employers to offer their employees passes valid on all RTD trains and busses at a significant discount from the market rate. These passes help people think outside their normal transit modes, while affording employers a powerful benefit to offer employees. Recently, two new Denver South area employers have added the EcoPass program as an employee benefit.

We also work to elevate awareness of alternate transportation methods through our community outreach efforts. This summer, Denver South worked with community partners and local employers to host a series of fun Community/RTD celebrations at four different light rail stations. These have been a great way to connect with colleagues, businesses, and jurisdictional partners, while showcasing the wide range of transportation options available in the region. At various celebrations, we have had the opportunity to showcase Bustang, Enterprise vanpools, e-bikes, and scooters, in addition to RTD’s services. Raising the profile of these transit modes that may not have widespread community awareness is also critical in reducing congestion and pollution.

A key trend we are monitoring that will also impact congestion is how companies are implementing return to office policies, and are leveraging the office in a post-pandemic landscape. Many organizations in Denver South that went remote during the pandemic are returning to the office; even so, they have also recognized that their employees value flexibility and that some may even be more effective while working remotely. Based on feedback from Denver South companies that they were struggling to answer what commuting, transportation, and hybrid work arrangements were best for their organization, and were unsure what processes and documentation were needed to implement such a program, WRK Denver South was created. Providing employers checklists, templates, and free resources, WRK is designed to support companies in Denver South as they determine the commute options best for their organization. Sheryl and the team continue to support Denver South employers in answering these questions to not only help our employers attract and retain talent, but to also identify opportunities to reduce traffic congestion.

These conversations are new for many employers, and we and our partners are deeply committed to helping create solutions that work for the future of Denver South. Recent changes and new challenges have created an opportunity for us to focus on our collective future, improving our quality of life through better, more efficient, eco-friendly transportation solutions.