RTD District F: Former Aurora Councilman Bob Broom runs as sole candidate for RTD District F seat

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Former Ward VI Aurora City Councilman Bob Broom will be running as the sole candidate to replace Tom Tobiassen for Aurora’s District F Regional Transportation District seat. Tobiassen is term-limited to run again. District F, located in the eastern portion of RTD, represents the largest portion of Aurora and portions of nearby unincorporated Arapahoe County.

This year, residents in this district will see the Aurora “R” line open, a 10.5-mile Interstate 225 light rail system that will connect the East Commuter Rail Line through Aurora to Nine Mile Station and metro Denver’s Southeast Corridor Light Rail.

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By RACHEL SAPIN, Staff writer

Former Aurora Councilman runs as sole candidate for RTD District F seat

Former Ward VI Aurora City Councilman Bob Broom will be running as the sole candidate to replace Tom Tobiassen’s for Aurora’s District F Regional Transportation District seat. District F, located in the eastern portion of RTD, represents the largest portion of Aurora and portions of nearby unincorporated Arapahoe County.

bob-broom
Bob Broom

Broom said his experience as a city councilman, former Aurora City Manager, and his experience as a board member on the Denver Regional Council of Governments makes him a qualified candidate for the seat.

Broom said he would like to see RTD expand its reach to Aurora’s outer suburbs, and that doing so would help RTD with covering its operating cost.

“Since the fare box only covers 20 percent of operating costs the sales tax base needs to be increased by annexing developments like Murphy Creek that are not in the RTD District,” Broom said.

Broom said he would like to focus on the “last mile” impediment RTD has as a way to increase ridership. That’s usually defined as the gap between an RTD station and a commuter’s home.

“Shuttle busses are being planned for the Fitzsimons Campus. I would like to see the same thing occur at the light rail stop in City Center to take people to the Community College, City Hall, Main Library, Arapahoe County Social Service Center plus the retail centers for both employees and shoppers,” he said. “Cities are also exploring partnerships with Uber and Lyft to pick up riders at home or at work sites and take them to catch their bus or light rail line.”

Tom Tobiassen
Tom Tobiassen

Broom will be replacing RTD District Director Tom Tobiassen, who is term-limited to run again for his District F seat this year.

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Bob Broom is a former Aurora city councilman for Ward VI. He is also a former Aurora city manager who served as board member on the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

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What makes you the most qualified candidate? Experience in government as a city councilman, city manager, board member on DRCOG and chairman of the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District. Plus, my desire to serve the community.

Some advocacy groups have argued that paying $9 each way from Denver Union Station to the airport on the A Line is out of reach for many low-income residents who need to use the service. It’s a fraction of that in some cities, such as Minneapolis. Do you think the new RTD fare structure is affordable for commuter and light rail lines? Is it more important to draw more riders with lower fares, or move away from that model and work toward a sustainable RTD budget? Setting fares is a balancing act. The objective is to both maximize ridership as well as maximize revenue so you have funds available to expand bus routes and service. Since the fare box only covers 20 percent of operating costs, the sales tax base needs to be increased by annexing developments like Murphy Creek that are not in the RTD District. 

What strategies will you implement to promote and increase ridership? One of the biggest impediment for riders is the”last mile.” Shuttle busses are being planned for the Fitzsimons Campus. I would like to see the same thing occur at the light rail stop in City Center to take people to the community college, city hall, main library, Arapahoe County social service center, plus the retail centers for both employees and shoppers. Cities are also exploring partnerships with Uber and Lyft to pick up riders at home or at work sites and take them to catch their bus or light rail line. 

What funding mechanisms should RTD use to fund future transportation projects? Until RTD completes the fast track system it promised voter it will be very hard to ask for a tax increase.It appears that internet sales will finally be taxed, which should provide more funds for RTD. So I have a wait-and-see approach before looking at a tax increase. Even then, I would look at extending sales tax to some services since people now spend more on services than on goods that are taxable. 

How often do you use RTD? I use RTD about once a month to attend meetings in Downtown Denver or to visit the DCPA. I will be using RTD to attend board and committee meetings after the election. 

A common complaint is that RTD buses, especially on suburban lines, come too infrequently and aren’t on schedule. Are those complaints off base? What can RTD do to improve on those criticisms? Maintaining fixed schedules is a top priority since people need to get to work on time, etc. Back-up buses should be made available if practical to deal with mechanical breakdowns, accidents or drivers calling in sick. 

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What food do you hate most? Anchovies.

Do you indulge in recreational marijuana? No. 

Who would play you in a movie about your life? Bill Murray.

What Olympic Sport do you wish you could win gold at?  Shot put.

What was your favorite childhood candy? Baby Ruth.

If you could be an eyewitness to one event in history, what would it be? First man stepping on the moon.

If the Secret Service gave you a code name, what would it be? Rambo.

If you had to sing karaoke, what song would you sing? Car karaoke counts.  “Moon River”

What epitaph would you like written on your tombstone? “Best Friend to All”

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes.

What is the last concert you attended? Barry Manilow.

What movie do you never tire of watching? “Gone with the Wind

Dogs or cats? Both.

What’s the most overrated thing about living in Colorado? I have not found it yet.

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Click here for Bob Broom’s Campaign Finance Reports

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Not available.

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