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RTD drops controversial ban on continuous rides after backlash from advocates

RTD's new code of conduct would have included a ban on riding buses and trains all day, but they dropped it after backlash from homeless advocates.

DENVER — The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is dropping a controversial part of its new code of conduct that would have banned people from riding buses and trains all day.

The revision comes after homeless advocates criticized the code's earlier drafts, saying banning people from lying on the floor or bench at a station criminalizes homelessness.

That original policy would have banned from staying on the system for continuous trips unless they paid for them.

RTD dropped that after hearing some feedback from the public, and they've rebranded the updated policy as "Respect the Ride."  

"It's about common courtesy, respect for other customers respect for our vehicles, respect for our facilities," RTD Chief Communications and Engagement Officer Stuart Summers said of their goals for the rebrand.

"It's important to note the emphasis is on fair paying customers. Make sure if they've paid their fare, they can use the transit system fully," RTD Chief Communications and Engagement Officer Stuart Summers said. "We want to make sure RTD is inviting for all customers, no matter their background."

When RTD says customers, they mean only people who paid for service.

RTD also dropped part of the policy that would have banned unauthorized use of electrical outlets. They had cited concerns that some customers were unplugging TV's that displayed transit schedules. RTD says people can use the outlets that are unused.

Part of the process for creating this new code of conduct includes soliciting feedback from the public.

Summers said the revisions are meant to be a collaborative effort. RTD is reaching out, collecting feedback from riders throughout April and May. Then, they'll share what they've learned and make recommendations based on the feedback to the Board of Directors at their June 27 board meeting.

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