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December 2014

Part 1 Online Only: Additional 'Rail Outlook 2015' Coverage

Part 2 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: Union Pacific Railroad's Jack Koraleski

Part 3 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: Metra's Don Orseno

Part 4 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: CSX's Michael Ward

Part 5 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: SEPTA's Joseph Casey

Part 6 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: CP's E. Hunter Harrison

Part 7 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: OmniTrax Inc.'s Kevin Shuba

Part 8 Online Only: Rail Outlook 2015: RTD's Phillip Washington

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail Outlook 2015: RTD's Phillip Washington



Phillip Washington, General Manager, Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD)

Aside from the federal funding question, what will be an important issue for your transit agency in 2015 and how do you plan to address it?

A very important issue for RTD in 2015 is the task of simplifying its fare system. RTD prepares for five major project openings, we have commissioned two internal taskforces. The first is tasked with implementing a smart-card system that will eventually lead to accurately tracking individual passenger usage and initiating stored value on individual smart cards. The second taskforce is tasked with evaluating the RTD's current fare policy and recommending improvements. Included in the scope of both of these taskforces is the oftentimes tough task of public engagement.

What is your biggest concern in meeting passengers' expectations next year?

A smooth transition with regard to implementing and incorporating both the new smartcard technology and the new fare policy recommendations. Additionally, a big concern is bringing five major transit projects (four rail and one bus rapid transit) on time and on budget. And, also integrating them into our existing base (day-to-day) system.

How will congressional action/inaction on the funding front impact your agency in 2015?

The lack of federal funding would invariably lead to layoffs, service reductions, and have a major impact on maintaining our assets in a state of good repair. Also equally devastating is the impact that federal funding uncertainty has on our long-term planning. The importance of long-term funding isn't only about the actual money, and it isn't only about the federal government as the single source of that money. Instead, the long-range value of a long-term bill is that it minimizes risk to our private-sector investment partner.

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