Bennet, Hickenlooper Announce $53 Million Federal Grant to Restore RTD Services

Grant Comes From the American Rescue Plan, Which Congress Passed In 2021 As Part Of Its Covid-19 Response

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper announced that the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has been awarded a $53 million grant from the Department of Transportation under the American Rescue Plan Act. The grant will support the workforce needed to reinstate up to 85% of RTD’s pre-pandemic service.

Because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, RTD and other transit agencies throughout the country are navigating unprecedented staffing and operational challenges. Federal funding played a critical role to sustain public transit services since the start of the pandemic.

“I'm pleased to welcome this additional funding from the American Rescue Plan to help RTD support bus and train operators who navigated significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bennet. “This will help sustain essential services on the Front Range for Coloradans who rely on public transit."

“RTD is essential for Coloradans in the Denver Metro area,” said Hickenlooper. “This grant from the American Rescue Plan will help RTD get back to full-service for the first time since the pandemic started.”

“I am appreciative of and grateful for the strong and continuous support of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper. RTD will leverage this funding to optimize people power by recruiting and retaining talent to bolster transit service delivery that enhances day-to-day lives of residents and visitors across the Denver metro region,” said Debra A. Johnson, RTD General Manager and CEO.

In December 2021, Bennet and Hickenlooper wrote a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of RTD’s application for funding assistance from this American Rescue Plan Act program. 

RTD used previous funding to identify and maintain routes that serve communities and people that most rely on public transportation in a methodical and equitable manner.