The purpose of the Gunnison Valley Transportation Authority (RTA) Transit Program is to provide safe, and courteous public transportation and ADA services for residents of and visitors to the Gunnison Valley. The RTA contracts with a private contractor to provide transit services in the Gunnison Valley. The RTA will strive to provide a safe, fair, and honest working environment for passengers, its contractor, and its contractor’s employees.

A. Safety

Safety is the #1 priority of the RTA. Safety will not be compromised for any reason and all contractor’s employees will strive to perform safely in all aspects of their employment.

Employee Safety The RTA requires its contractors to provide a safe working environment to the best of its ability. Any conditions which may lead to an unsafe situation should be reported immediately to a supervisor so that corrections may be made. Contractor’s employees should not perform any action which is unsafe and/or may lead to accident or injury. Contractor’s employees must be aware of their safety at all times, including being prepared for adverse weather conditions with proper gloves, sunglasses, footwear, etc.

Driving Safety Drivers are required to obey all traffic laws. Further, no vehicle should be driven faster than conditions will allow, regardless of the bus schedule, posted speed limit, or other requirements. Arriving safely, whatever the road conditions, is far more important than staying on schedule.

Again, the #1 priority is safety, so if necessary the schedule will be compromised to continue to operate safely.

DRIVE SLOWLY AROUND ALL BUS STOPS. If a person is at or around a bus stop, they are a passenger, and the driver is responsible for performing in a way that maximizes their safety.

Passenger Safety Many passengers have no experience at this elevation or climate, and have no idea what to expect. Drivers frequently have the initial contact with passengers on ski days, and should not hesitate to suggest hats, goggles, gloves, sunglasses, sun screen, etc., to anyone not prepared for this environment. Also, drivers should offer suggestions or direction to passengers in need of assistance with any aspect of their safety.

Allow plenty of room around bus stops for passengers to walk and load skis. Also be aware of ground conditions when pulling in to a stop and try to avoid icy areas, mud puddles, excessive snow or other hazards that may adversely affect passengers’ ability to safely board the bus.

Maintenance Shop Safety Contractor’s employees need to be safety-aware at all times in and around all shop areas. Wherever necessary, safety equipment must be provided by contractor to protect its employees from dangerous situations or equipment. Safety is the #1 priority, and any action which cannot be performed safely should not be performed until corrections are made or protection is provided for the employee.

B. Passenger relations

The RTA Transit Program exists to provide transportation for residents and visitors, and every person accessing that service is a guest of the RTA. While a driver’s first responsibility is safety, the next is to be courteous and helpful. Drivers must practice a proactive approach to passenger relations; that is, to offer assistance and anticipate questions from visitors when it is obvious that s/he is confused or having difficulty. Drivers should assist by giving information and making suggestions when needed to enhance a visitor’s visit or a resident’s ride on the system.

Drivers are frequently asked questions like, “Where is the best place to…” If a driver is asked a direct, personal question about services or businesses in the area, the best way to answer is honestly, based on personal experience. RTA does not endorse or specifically support any individual business, and suggestions or recommendations cannot be made in the name of the RTA; however, when a visitor asks this type of question, s/he is best served by an honest answer.

C. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

The ADA is a civil rights law designed to remove barriers that prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities, including access to public transportation. All equipment currently owned and acquired in the future by the RTA is and will be accessible based on ADA guidelines, including approved lifts for boarding assistance. Training is provided by contractor for its employees to become proficient with operating all accessible equipment and interacting with passengers requiring extra assistance.

Passengers eligible for ADA paratransit service may make arrangements by calling the contractor’s office.

D. Organization

The RTA is a taxing district that contracts with contractors to provide transit services along the Highway 135 corridor. It is funded primarily by sales tax collected in the district, and is governed by a Board of Directors made up of two representatives from each municipality in the district and two representatives from Gunnison County.