Q&A with Julien Bouquet, candidate for RTD director, District G

Posted

Residence: Lone Tree

Campaign website: bouquet4rtd.com

What makes you the best choice for this office? 

I have grown up here in Douglas County and I was reliant on the Lincoln light rail station almost every day to get me to college. Now that my wife and I are educators for Douglas County School District, we mainly use RTD to travel downtown and enjoy the city. As a rider and a teacher, I understand the needs of our community. I am the candidate fighting to create a more efficient, a more affordable, and a more accessible public transportation network. I am passionate about creating a long-lasting transportation network that serves more of our residents here in Colorado.

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

Increasing ridership. COVID has had a major impact on ridership. Ridership is down about 60% from this time last year. But it is also true that RTD has been losing riders every year since 2014. Even though our state has been growing in population, RTD has been on a steady decline in ridership. I believe we have been losing riders based on the overall cost of fares. We are one of the most expensive public transportation networks in the country. As director, I will fight for more affordable fares which will encourage more of our residents to ride.

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

I need to see an increase in ridership and an increase in ridership satisfaction. I want us to not only add riders, but to retain riders. We need a fare rate that is competitive with the rest of the country and a route network that is efficient for all riders. This is what is going to make RTD sustainable for the long run, and in a growing state like Colorado we need a trusted transportation network. More people using RTD will mean: less traffic, less pollution and less waste of taxpayer money.  

What are the greatest public transit needs in District G, and how would you help realize those needs to constituents? 

The greatest need we have in District G is shared across this state, we need more riders. We need to see more Douglas County residents use our transportation services. This begins with an information campaign that I would spearhead once I am elected. This information campaign would focus on the safety precautions of using RTD during COVID, and then would evolve into advising riders on which ride is best for their trip. We need our trips to be more efficient and affordable, so that RTD is more dependable and desirable to use. 

How can you make sure your constituents' RTD tax dollars go as far as they can to fulfill transit needs both locally and district-wide? 

One of the core philosophies of my campaign is efficiency. A lack of efficiency is what causes ride cancellations, major driver shortages, extreme operator turnover and frustration with RTD. Once elected director, I will fight to create innovative solutions to the many issues that RTD is currently facing. Innovating is only part of meeting the needs of constituents and riders. As director, I would take the time to listen to riders, bus drivers, train operators and all our District G constituents. I want to hear how our community feels RTD is serving the public. 

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