To “limit illegal activities,” RTD elevator doors will stay open at three stations as part of public safety pilot program

The program will start on Sunday.
2 min. read
An RTD train stops at Southmoor Station in between I-25 and the Southmoor Park neighborhood. Feb. 19, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Elevators at three RTD stations will perpetually stay open when not in use as part of a new public safety pilot program. 

The program kicks off Sunday at Nine Mile, Colorado and Southmoor stations and runs through mid-June.

The doors will remain open until a rider enters the elevator and chooses a floor. In a press release Friday, RTD said the effort is meant to “limit illegal activities and address long-standing complaints from customers.”

The program is one of multiple recent efforts from RTD to address public safety on Denver’s transit system, something both riders and drivers have complained about in recent years. In April of last year, RTD suspended plans to ban people from riding perpetually, a public safety effort criticized by advocates who said it targeted people experiencing homelessness. In June, RTD’s board approved new passenger rules, which gave police more power to suspend “chronic violators” of the code of conduct.

“Every month, RTD receives hundreds of calls for service and customer complaints related to unwanted and illegal activities taking place inside our elevators,” said Dr. Joel Fitzgerald Sr., Chief of Police and Emergency Management at RTD, in a statement Friday. “These activities not only impede customer access to RTD’s services but also obstruct our efforts to create a welcoming transit environment. Setting elevators to a default open status dissuades usage to anything other than what is intended.”

RTD said in a statement that, in January and February of this year, it received more than 350 reports of “less-than-optimal conditions” at the three stations undergoing the pilot program. The agency plans to monitor complaints and calls for service throughout the pilot program to see if the change in elevator operations leads to a decrease in complaints, along with things like vandalism and elevator damage.

If the pilot program is successful, RTD could expand it and make it permanent. 
“Results of the assessment will be used to determine if the pilot should continue at the three locations, along with expanding the program to additional elevators across the agency’s system,” RTD wrote in its statement Friday.

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