After many years of receiving Regional Transportation District (RTD) services that are not reasonably proportionate to the amount of sales tax that RTD collects in Parker, as well as multiple unsuccessful attempts to negotiate an increase in services, the Town of Parker took steps in 2021 to elevate this issue to the Colorado State Legislature.
House Bill 21-1252, sponsored by House District 44 Representative Kim Ransom, would have opened the door for eligible Town of Parker voters to determine through an election whether incorporated Parker should be completely included in or completely excluded from the district boundaries.
HB 21-1252 was introduced and referred to the House Transportation and Local Government Committee, where testimony was heard on both sides of the issue on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. After considering the testimony from all witnesses, including a pledge by the RTD Directors who testified that they would work with the Town of Parker to deliver a more proportional amount of service, Representative Ransom moved to postpone the bill indefinitely, which was approved by the committee. Over the next six months, RTD will have the opportunity to work closely with Parker officials towards the mutual goal of improving the services that RTD provides to the Parker community.
“The Town of Parker is absolutely willing to have the necessary discussions and negotiations with RTD to increase Parker’s service levels to be commensurate with the funding that RTD receives from taxes collected from the Parker community,” said Mayor Jeff Toborg. “However, if these efforts are not successful, we are committed to reintroducing this bill in the next legislative session.”
The specific deficiencies and issues raised by the Town and residents with RTD about service include: (1) the need to expand FlexRide local shuttle service with additional vehicles and service territory; (2) the inadequacy of the 483 local bus service to meet the needs of businesses and residents, including limited hours of operation and lack of weekend service; (3) the inadequacy and lack of reliability of the regional P Parker express bus service to downtown Denver; and (4) the need to better connect Parker to major destinations such as the Denver Tech Center and Denver International Airport (DIA), as well as the regional transit system.