Bennet Congratulates RFTA and RTD on Being Recognized as White House Champions of Change

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today congratulated the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) and Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) for being recognized by the White House as part of the Transportation Innovators ‘Champions of Change.’ Representatives from the two agencies were honored at the White House today.

“Colorado is a leader at developing innovative solutions to meet our transportation needs,” Bennet said. “Both RFTA and RTD have found ways to move forward with impressive projects while many other transportation agencies across the country are scaling back. It is a testament to the leadership and cooperation among local leaders to find ways to provide reliable and affordable transportation options for Coloradans in their respective regions.”

The White House highlighted RFTA’s construction of VelociRFTA, the first rural bus rapid transit system in the country. The new system will operate with buses that run on compressed natural gas and will connect five towns from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado.

RTD was honored for its innovative approach toward completing transit projects in the Denver-metro region. The agency is currently undergoing the largest expansion of transit service in the country with the FasTracks project that includes a total of 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit and numerous new transit facilities across the region.

Dan Blankenship, CEO of RFTA said, “As America's largest rural transit provider, RFTA is constantly seeking to harness new ideas and new technologies to extend new financially and environmentally sustainable mobility solutions to Roaring Fork Valley's residents and visitors. We are enormously grateful for the support of our Congressional delegation, including Senator Bennet who is a thoughtful voice for sound transportation planning at home and a staunch advocate on our behalf in Washington, DC.”

Phillip Washington, general manager of RTD said, “I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition.  I am also grateful to my entire team and all of our partners, especially here in Washington, DC. It is through this powerful combination of relentless innovation and enduring partnerships that we have been able to take these steps to transform the Denver region’s transportation network to improve quality of life and create tremendous new economic opportunities for our region.”

The White House ‘Champions of Change’ initiative works to highlight leaders in different industries that are working to develop new and innovative ideas to our economic challenges. For more information on the initiative, please visit