Free RTD is a good start to reduce emissions; Officials must keep campaign promises

Free RTD is a good start to reduce emissions;  Officials must keep campaign promises

Rhonda Patrom: RTD: Free month is a good start to lower emissions

In 2015, the EPA set the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at 70 parts per billion. These standards limit the atmospheric concentration of six pollutants that cause acid rain, smog and other health risks. Colorado’s Front Range, unfortunately, averages about 81 parts per billion during the summer months.

This high level of pollution led to a record number of ozone warning days in 2021. These days limit the active and outdoor lifestyle that Colorado sustains. The Senate Act 22-180 mentioned by Anna Ridilla in the Camera story “RTD Buses and Trains Free in August for Boulder County, Metro Area” of July 18 is a start to address the pollution problem plaguing much of Colorado.

The primary goals of the bill are to “extend state-run transit services…to reduce ground-level ozone, increase passenger numbers, and reduce vehicle miles traveled in the state.” Much of the bill provides funding for the Regional Transportation District, which serves much of the Denver metro area through bus and rail services.

The rail system provides transportation to Golden, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Parker, Lakewood, and DIA, among several other convenient locations. RTD is also waiting for funding to expand the rail system to Longmont, Thornton and Highlands Ranch to make it accessible to a wider range of riders. Having an extensive rail system is beneficial for reducing ozone pollution and traffic.

As valuable as public transportation is to Coloradans who use it to get to their desired destinations, this month RTD is leading the fight to reduce ozone pollution with their Zero Fare for Better Air campaign by making rides free for a month. With rides on RTD services more affordable throughout August, hopefully more urban area residents will make the switch from their cars to rail to reduce pollution in one of Colorado’s hazy months.

Rhonda Patrom, Boulder

Martha Wilson: Election: Civil servants must deliver on their campaign promises

My oldest 3 kids started their senior, junior and sophomore years of high school this week. As much as I’d like to pitch on how to see leaders who look like them in positions like HD10 to admire and emulate as they begin to envision who they would like to become, I need a little make a confession.

I was not much older than the age my children are now when I had them and the journey to care for them and find my own voice for social justice has involved a lot of trying, closing many professional doors and a lot of grief from candidates who have failed to live up to the positions they negotiated for their vote and/or are trying to secure before they even set foot in their current role. I need Junie Joseph to win this Democratic seat for me, and for people like me, who raise families and fear for their safety, who have multiple jobs yet struggle to survive here, and who share the weight and the impact of actively trying to restore enduring systems of long-held racial and social inequality.

I’ve spent most of the past two decades recruiting and calling on behalf of Democratic candidates and know we won’t find anyone as perceptive, sensible, and humane as Junie Joseph. Junie pleads alongside parents at the height of the greatest trauma many of these families will ever face. Junie is walking down the street with us for reproductive health rights. Junie means what she says, and she is more than just talking. Junie Joseph is what Boulder needs.

Martha Wilson, Longmont