Q&A with Doug Tisdale, candidate for RTD Board of Directors, District H

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Residence: Cherry Hills Village

Campaign website: TisdaleRTD.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I've been deeply involved in transit and public transportation for 20 years: as an RTD director, as RTD Board Chair, as executive committee member and board director at American Public Transportation Association, on the E-470 Authority Board, on the Executive Committee at DRCOG and at Metro Mayors Caucus, mayor of Cherry Hills Village, chair of APTA's Transit Board Members Legislative Committee and more. I oversaw the G Line opening and the E/F/R Extension into Lone Tree. I lobbied Congress to secure additional COVID relief funding. I enjoy a direct personal relationship with the head of Federal Transit Administration at USDOT.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

To take all reasonable steps to ensure fiscal sustainability. Sales tax revenues, farebox revenues, ridership and service are all way down due to the pandemic. Deficits for 2021 are projected to be as much as $215 million and to continue thereafter. Dramatic steps need to be taken now to keep even reduced service. My budgetary experience is helping us chart a course toward fiscal sustainability. By making some really hard decisions, we can achieve that fiscal sustainability next year and going forward. And then, as the economy strengthens and the pandemic subsides, we can restore service and maintain fiscal sustainability.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

Expand our RTD culture of providing safe, clean, reliable, courteous, accessible, cost-effective service throughout the region. Continue communicating, collaborating and cooperating with our constituents and stakeholders. Restore all scheduled service and increase ridership on our system. Implement bus rapid transit service on Broadway and on state Highway 119. Restore our credibility with riders, taxpayers and elected officials in the communities we serve. Guarantee transparency in every aspect of governance, operation and maintenance. Achieve greater fiscal restraint and additional sources of revenues without raising taxes. Provide a safe, secure and inclusive environment for our workers and our riders.

Given the light rail R Line's low ridership compared to other RTD light rail routes, what, if anything, should be done about the R Line?

Aggressively promote increased ridership on the R Line through all practical means.  Partner with the City of Aurora to encourage and facilitate the rapid creation of transit-oriented development at the R Line stations, emphasizing housing and commercial development and making ample parking available to organically add riders. Coordinate scheduling so that the R Line and the University of Colorado A Line create a convenient and inexpensive ride from south Denver to the airport. Reduce fares on the R Line pursuant to the special fare program that I created for the opening of the N Line, making it cheaper to use. 

In light of the pandemic's effect on tax revenue, how will you work to address RTD's budget shortage?

Continue spearheading RTD efforts to balance our budget while acting humanely to assist displaced workers and reduce impacts on our riders. I am leading the efforts of transit board members across the country, through the American Public Transportation Association, to secure additional federal funding for RTD's operations and for 2,000 transit agencies throughout the U.S. I have directed RTD senior leadership to provide severance and placement assistance for separated workers due to any reductions in force. I am pledged to ensuring fiscal sustainability in a reasonable and responsible manner that will continue to serve our core mission of moving people! 

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