Denver City Council approves intergovernmental agreement between DEN and Denver RTD to expand transit access

July 3, 2023
The agreement will provide the lowest EcoPass rate for all concessionaire (shop and restaurant) employees at DEN.

On June 26, Denver City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement between Denver International Airport (DEN) and the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) to provide the lowest EcoPass rate for all concessionaire (shop and restaurant) employees at DEN.

“As DEN continues to grow, works to become the greenest airport in the world and attracts and retains top talent, it is critical that DEN looks at the transportation needs to get employees to and from DEN,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “Affordable transit options and creating better transportation and mobility for current and future employees across the airport is a priority for me personally and will be an ongoing priority for DEN.”

“RTD is proud to partner with DEN in developing this collaborative agreement to expand transit access with equity top of mind. The airport’s concessionaire employees are at the heart of this agreement,” said Denver RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson. “I appreciate the creative solutions by staff that help to minimize the pain points of people getting to work at the airport. RTD strives to make lives better through connections, and this initiative reflects the agency’s mission.”

As DEN prepares to serve more than 100 million passengers annually in the future as part of its Vision 100 initiative and its larger OPERATION 2045 endeavor, the airport is constantly working to identify creative solutions to better serve its passengers and increase its workforce to support this growth. The agreement helps empower and strengthen the DEN community by breaking barriers to transportation for concessionaire employees.

With the previous structure, DEN concessionaires were not required to purchase an EcoPass for their employees. Those who chose to participate had to purchase an EcoPass for every individual employee at prices that varied depending upon how many employees each employer had. Under the old structure, smaller employers paid more per employee than larger employers. By grouping concessionaires into one contract through DEN, all concessionaires will pay the rate of $632 per person per year, compared to $1,074 per person the smallest concessionaires would have paid under the old system.

The updated structure will provide relief for smaller businesses, increase participation in the EcoPass program and make the price equitable for all concessionaires at DEN. The new structure also supports small businesses and employees who ride public transit to work, creates fair opportunity and future growth of the concessionaire workforce and establishes a structure for other DEN business partners to replicate.