City leaders from Indy, Raleigh and Nashville get inspired by the secrets to Denver’s transit success

October 1, 2015

The three delegations saw the tangible fruit of Denver’s successful transit investments first laid out by their FasTracks plan in the early 2000s, and they learned how Denver went about the monumental task of building support and raising the funding required to make it all happen.Website Insert Perfect Answer copy

Analyzing Denver’s success so closely provided participants an opportunity to evaluate their own ongoing city and/or regional campaign efforts, and all were clearly struck by just how much work is plowed into the earth before you taste the fruits of success. It’s do-able and the benefits are sizable, but the task is not easy or quick. The participants know they have a challenge on their hands, but they were encouraged to see how Denver made it all happen and are taking imminently practical lessons back home to help build their coalitions and engage supporters back home.

From the very first discussion, the academy participants learned about the unique factors in Denver’s success. One factor was education — Denver succeeded in their ballot campaign by throwing out assumptions about who would and would not support transit. Polling and focus groups revealed who support Denver’s efforts and why. Women over 60 and suburban drivers — groups often assumed to be neutral to or against transit — became key supporters. On the other hand, it could not be assumed that transit riders would support the plan.Website Insert Keep Your Money In-State copy

In the end, leaders from these three cities saw the possibilities of reaching out to key constituencies who haven’t been engaged in their efforts so far.

Read the full story from writers Michael. Russell, Dan Levine and Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America by clicking here.


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