Metro Bus Stops Looking For A Little Love

10,000 RTD Bus Stops Available In Adopt-A-Stop Program

The Regional Transportation District has more than 10,000 bus stops in the metro area, and keeping up with the trash and vandalism is a huge job.

Some need more work than others. This one needs just a little sprucing up. This one needs paint and elbow grease. This one is littered with cigarette butts and fast food wrappers.

“We can’t maintain all 10,000 bus stops throughout the RTD district. We have to focus on the most busy ones where we have shelters. So this saves us in the terms of maintenance and helps keep the bus stop areas cleaner than without the Adopt-A-Stop program. It allows residents to take pride and ownership in the bus stops that are in their area,” said Scott Reed, spokesman for RTD.

Adopters of an RTD bus stop agree to pick up litter, remove graffiti, take out the trash and keep the area reasonably clean for a one-year period. Some adopters go a step beyond that by painting, decorating and making their stop, in their opinion, more beautiful and comfortable.

“A little customization is fine, but we have standards we need to maintain and the municipalities have the codes where the bus stops are about what can and cannot go there,” said Reed.

RTD provides the trash bins and can liners. As a small reward, RTD will provide an 8-by-10-inch adoption sign at the stop with the name of the individual or group. Adopters can choose to participate in the program for longer than one year or adopt more than one stop. Some civic groups such as the Kiwanis Club and the Rotary Club have adopted a couple dozen stops each. Most of the stops are maintained by individuals for hundreds of different reasons.

The bus stop at the corner of 32nd Avenue and Zuni Street looks like what you would expect. A bench, trash can and pole with the route number.

“When we opened this café six years ago, this was a much different neighborhood than it is now. It was part of our process to make the area, the corner the neighborhood more conducive to our business,” said Glen Baker, co-owner of Gallop Café.

Baker, along with his business partner, David Grafke, adopted the bus stop for the No. 32 bus that travels west in front of their café. They replaced the old rickety bench with a new metal one and added a covered trash can, all provided with the help of RTD.

“The overall result has been an easier environment to maintain, for us and for RTD. Our goal was to help change our environment, and that’s where RTD stepped in to help us do that,” said Baker.

Almost any type of bus stop is available to be adopted. Some stops are more labor intensive than others. From just a pole in the ground with a small sign with the bus route number on the top to a stop with seating areas. Depending on how often the stop is used, adoptive parents might have to tidy up just once a week, or if the stop is well-used or near fast food joints, they might need daily attention. RTD does not allow large, covered stops to be adopted, opting to keep the responsibility of the maintenance chores.

The trash can out side the Gallop Cafe has to be emptied a couple times a week. The employees of the business all help in the effort to keep the bus stop, as well as the entire street clean.

“There are a lot of people who get on and off the bus here every single day so it’s a benefit for them. They have a nice, clean place to step off the bus or to wait for the bus. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I think just being clean and free of trash and the snow is removed in a timely basis helps the neighborhood,” said Grafke.

According to RTD, the Adopt-A-Stop program started in 1993 when a business owner on East Colfax Avenue adopted the bus stop outside his business. Now, there are 740 stops that have been adopted in the RTD District.

“This is a very high rate compared to other transit agencies around the country. It’s a program that’s totally voluntary, we’re very pleased with the response that we’ve had. We would like to see more of course,” said Reed.

“It’s contagious. Residents and other businesses see this and want to do the same and help make the neighborhood a better place,” said Baker.

If you are interested in the RTD Adopt-A-Stop program you can call 303-299-6365 or visit the RTD Adopt-A-Stop website.