When we put community first, our neighborhoods thrive.

JoyAnn Ruscha is fighting for a world-class transit system that is convenient, accessible, and affordable for all. Return your ballots by 7pm on November 6th, 2018!

Public transportation belongs to us, and we pay for RTD with our sales tax dollars. The RTD should eliminate unnecessary overhead in its $1.3 billion budget so we can expand access for everyone. As Director, JoyAnn will fight for:

  • Reduced base rate for all riders – our fares are currently some of the highest in the country
  • Free bus passes for limited-income transit riders with disabilities, youth, and seniors (many cities already do this!)
  • Raising the cap on low-income discount fares for non-profit programs
  • Ensure that Access-a-Ride remains affordable for people with disabilities

16% of RTD’s riders live in households making less than $25,000 a year.  Fare increases for transit-dependent riders (people living in a household without a car) could equal a week’s meal. Paying for multiple bus passes for kids in middle and high schools puts an undue financial burden on parents. As Director, JoyAnn will never vote for any proposal that disproportionately impacts low-income riders.

JoyAnn knows that RTD must be as low-cost as possible to to ensure long-term growth. Like other cities do, JoyAnn will push for free fares for kids, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities. If elected, JoyAnn will work tirelessly with multiple government agencies and stakeholders to find a way to make that public policy goal a reality.

In the News

RTD wants to give discounts for some for others, raise rates for others, The Denver Channel, 2/27/18

Proposed RTD fare increases, including to the cost of an A-Line ticket, get public hearingDenver Post, 7/11/18

Proposed Fare Increase For RTD’s Access-A-Ride Worries Those Who Use It, CPR News, 7/19/18

Survey: RTD among most expensive public transit systems in the country, The Denver Channel, 3/28/17

Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. ​In 2018, JoyAnn lobbied to freeze paratransit fares (the highest in the nation) and was the only candidate to oppose the 2019 fares increase.

If elected, JoyAnn will be a champion for those with disabilities by:

  • Permit fare-free base rides for those with disabilities by redirecting resources to services
  • Working with RTD to improve services with Access-a-Ride and Access-a-Cab so that residents with mobility needs are adequately served
  • Requesting an audit of paratransit services to find ways to reduce wait times
  • Identifying ways that the entire RTD fleet can be made more comfortable for those with canes, walkers, or other mobility-assistance devices
  • Identifying RTD stops that aren’t fully accessible and working with municipal governments to allocate resources to fix them
  • Working with disability rights and seniors’ advocacy groups to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the room

In the News

Proposed Fare Increase For RTD’s Access-A-Ride Worries Those Who Use It, CPR News, 7/19/18

District B is the most under-served district in the area. JoyAnn believes that neighborhood-oriented transit planning is the key to RTD’s long-term successes. As Director, JoyAnn will:

  • Work with stakeholders to ensure that the outlying neighborhoods of Green Valley Ranch, Montbello, and other areas of District B have contiguous service – as well as transit options within the neighborhoods so people can access their grocery store, church, school, etc.
  • Fight to restore cut services in working-class neighborhoods
  • Push to bring more services in the booming Stapleton neighborhoods, adding to ridership numbers for the surrounding neighborhoods and connecting communities to each other
  • Work with the RTD, Denver Public Schools, Aurora Public Schools, and other stakeholder groups to ensure the District’s youth are able to ride public transit to school
  • Make sure that RTD is fully ADA-compliant and accessible to residents with disabilities

JoyAnn pledges to never vote for any rate increases that disproportionately affect low-income riders. She also understands that RTD is at its strongest when people utilize the service by choice. To ensure continued ridership, RTD must strive to always provide easy, convenient, and affordable service.

In the News

RTD Moves to Cut Bus Service as 2019 Fare Hike Looms, Denver Streetsblog, 7/10/18

“Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discriminatory transit planning, yet the Act has no enforcement mechanism.

As Director, I will push for an independent audit of the RTD’s Title VI policies, as well as the creation of an independent Civil Rights Task Force that is comprised of community members from across the region.” 

– JoyAnn to the League of Women Voters

JoyAnn is fully committed to equity and justice. She believes that:

  • High-quality RTD services should be provided to all residents and neighborhoods
  • Everyone should have a seat at the table to ensure equitable decision making
  • Language, income status, and/or disability status should never be a barrier to transportation services

RTD is at its strongest when its workers are treated fairly. The RTD employee family is also comprised of over 2,700 Amalgamated Transit Union workers, and JoyAnn is proud to have their support. She will stand with the bus drivers and mechanics and advocate for their right to fair pay, benefits, and safe working conditions.

In the News


The bulk of RTD’s budget comes from taxpayer dollars. JoyAnn is running for RTD because she knows that we can only survive as a transit agency if we are publicly-owned and held accountable by constituents. As Director, JoyAnn will:

  • ​Increase accountability to the public by pushing for more audits and oversight of the Agency and its private contractors
  • Call for a moratorium on public-private partnerships until community protection standards are in place
  • Hold frequent community meetings on budgets and contracts, particularly as it relates to FasTracks
  • Ask for a review of contractors that are not fulfilling their promises
  • Push for stricter safety standards on future FasTracks developments

In the News

Records Detail Blown Stops, Speeding And Other Issues On RTD’s Commuter Rail Lines, CPR News, 3/27/18

Denver Transit Partners, operator of troubled A-Line train, sues RTD for “tens of millions of dollars”, Denver Post

JoyAnn is a good-government advocate who supports sunshine laws and open records. She will advocate for transparency by:

  • Insisting that meetings are live-streamed
  • Ensuring that the Agency is taking more proactive measures to publishing meetings and events, as well as publishing more finance documents online

In the News

RTD Is Upping Transparency With Video, Audio, and Transcripts for Board of Directors Meetings, Streetsblog, 5/1/18

​JoyAnn believes that we should focus on moving people, not cars. To accomplish this goal, RTD will need a long-term vision of providing safe, reliable, and convenient transit that can serve the Regional Transportation District’s 3 million people. In addition, RTD must do more to reduce its own carbon footprint.  JoyAnn will:

  • Push to reduce carbon emissions and pollution by advocating a transition from our diesel fleet to electric vehicles whenever possible
  • Advocate for more bike rack storage
  • Work with environmental advocacy organizations to identify ways RTD can be more green-friendly
  • Be a good steward to the community by actively using RTD and publishing ways the community can reduce their carbon footprint through alternative transit

In the News

Report: RTD, Colorado Schools Should Prioritize Electric Buses to Save Money, Reduce Pollution, Streetsblog, 5/11/18

JoyAnn knows that kids who ride public transit as youth will be public transit users as adults. And for many kids, RTD is their lifeline to school or extra-curricular activities. As Director, JoyAnn will:

  • Be an advocate for youth ridership by working to ensure public school students ride for free and work with school districts to solve transit inequities
  • Help teach youth how to ride RTD
  • Increase safety measures on RTD to ensure our youth can ride freely and with confidence (and put parents’ fears to rest, too)

JoyAnn’s 13-year old son is a frequent RTD user. For short trips within the neighbohood or to school, he’s permitted to ride alone (as long as he checks in with Mom). For longer trips, he uses a buddy system. For so many of our youth, transit is freedom. Let’s show them all that the region has to offer!

Click through the tabs above to view our platform!

JoyAnn Ruscha is proudly endorsed by organizations representing over 90,000 Colorado working families

“JoyAnn is passionate about ensuring justice for those without a voice. I’m proud to endorse her for RTD because I know she’ll advocate at every level of government for a transit system that works for all of us.”

State Representative Jonathan Singer (Longmont) | RTD District I

“JoyAnn has been a tireless advocate for justice in the legislature and I know she will make an excellent community champion for RTD!”

Michael Merrifield, Colorado State Senator | Colorado Springs

“As a fellow parent, I know JoyAnn will be a champion for youth riders on RTD.”

State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Commerce City | RTD District K