Fellowships | FUSE CORPS
Accelerating Transportation Improvements in the Mile-High City
Department of Public Works
Denver, CO

“Accelerating Transportation Improvements in the Mile-High City” 
Denver Department of Public Works 
Denver, CO 

PROJECT CONTEXT

The City and County of Denver boasts 300 days of sunshine, a vibrant cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods and striking natural beauty. It is also a fast-growing metropolis, with 1,000 new residents per month in the city alone and over twice as many in the region. While Denver is considered a very livable city by many measures, its transportation systems are struggling to keep up with the increased demand. More than 300,000 people commute daily from surrounding suburbs into the city and another 150,000 do reverse commutes. The region’s growth, and related congestion, will continue as an estimated 145,000 new residents and 190,000 new jobs will come to Denver by 2035. Emerging travel preferences among millennials and older adults, who represent the largest growth segments of Denver’s population, will require that the transportation system provides multimodal transit options while prioritizing safety, accessibility and convenience. 

To address these challenges and prepare for this growth, city officials are developing a 20-year local transit vision and implementation plan known as Denver Moves: Transit . The plan will identify potential networks of transportation corridors and outline improvements in transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The plan, once implemented, will produce an intracity transit system that reduces traffic delays and improves travel options for residents, employees, and visitors. Denver Moves: Transit is one of four planning efforts, which also includes Denver Moves: Pedestrians & Trails, that were launched in May 2016 as part of Denveright – a comprehensive effort to connect land use, mobility, parks, and recreational planning into one cohesive community-driven effort to guide Denver for the next 20 years. 

The two major agencies that will implement Denver Moves: Transit are the City and County of Denver (CCD) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). Through the Department of Public Works, Denver oversees an array of public services including transportation, parking, solid waste, recycling, street maintenance, planning, engineering, operations and capital implementation. RTD operates transit in the Denver region - an area of approximately 2,300 square miles, with more than 2.8 million people. RTD operates six light rail lines, two commuter rail lines, and 84 local and regional bus routes that serve more than 340,000 riders daily. 

As they jointly plan for major system-wide improvements, Denver and RTD have identified a need to establish a system for prioritizing and implementing preliminary projects to lay the groundwork for the eventual implementation of the Denver Moves: Transit plan which will be coordinated with Denver Moves: Pedestrians & Trails to improve access to transit as well. To support this work, Denver will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level Fellow for one year to create and enact a program evaluation and develop a framework for implementation. 

PROJECT SUMMARY

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first month of the project, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the Fellow and the host agency. 

Starting in October 2017, it is proposed the FUSE Fellow will conduct a thorough review of the Denver Moves: Transit plan, the recent State of the System report and other pertinent documents report to familiarize him or herself with the overall approach, the identified key areas for improvement as well as the existing system, organizational structure, relationship between agencies and current processes and practices. Additional research into similar transportation efforts in other cities will also be necessary. By early 2018, the Fellow should have developed a detailed understanding of the plan’s various priorities and obstacles to providing better service; identified how to assess key performance indicators; and have an understanding of the challenging aspects of implementing transportation improvements in a complex bureaucracy. 

Using this foundation of understanding, the fellow will develop a framework for evaluation and prioritization of preliminary traffic improvement projects, taking into account the various funding needs, policy questions and performance measures and metrics that would be required to demonstrate the return on investment. The fellow will then partner with the multi-agency transportation task force members and consultants to move the identified early-action corridors and/or key segment or intersection improvements toward implementation. These efforts will set the stage for coordination and implementation in the next phases of the overall plan. 

Success in this project will be evaluated in terms of the fellow helping to set up a functional system by which RTD and the city can coordinate on preliminary transportation improvements that can then serve as a model for implementation for future projects. 

POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES 
 
  • Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape – Review the Denver Moves: Transit plan and State of the System report to better understand the current traffic improvement priorities and recommendations, as well as the departmental structure and processes.Review existing research and recommendations on transit systems and agency relationships in other cities that were listed in the report. Identify challenges and barriers to successful implementation of transit improvements given the current organizational structures and processes. 
  • Develop working relationships with key stakeholders and analyze feedback – Meet with a broad range of staff members, the regional transportation task force and partner organizations, including the Department of Public Works, to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to current process challenges and need for improvement. Uncover the questions that each wants to answer in order to identify or generate the necessary relationships and networks to sustain a long-term working partnership between the two agencies. 
  • Develop a framework for evaluating, prioritizing and identifying preliminary projects – Develop criteria for evaluation that considers operating, capital, and programmatic priorities; funding and implementation strategies; and land use and other policies. Identify early-win implementation corridors or projects that demonstrate the impact of the overall plan, build support for continued partnership between RTD and Denver and establish solid working relationships between both agencies’ staff members to ensure rapid, productive and efficient decision making and implementation throughout the Denver Moves: Transit plan process and subsequent implementation. 
  • Begin enacting preliminary projects, create a long-term rollout plan and lay the foundation for future project implementation – Begin implementation of identified transit improvement projects and create an implementation roadmap that includes carefully sequenced phases designed to build momentum and ensure smooth transitions for all key stakeholders. Include prioritized initiatives, deliverables, timelines, budgets, staff trainings and change management approaches. Empower city staff to make more informed decisions and enable them to align their efforts from agency to agency into a region-wide approach. 

KEY STAKEHOLDERS 
 
  • Crissy Fanganello, Director of Transportation and Mobility, Department of Public Works
  • Emily Snyder, Urban Mobility Manager, Department of Public Works
  • Bruce Abel, Assistant General Manager, Bus Operations, Denver Regional Transportation District 
  • Jesse Carter , Manager, Service Planning Schedule, Denver Regional Transportation District 

QUALIFICATIONS
 
  • At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong background in transportation systems, process optimization, performance improvement, operations, and/or coalition-building initiatives. 
  • Strong record of success engaging a variety of cross-sector stakeholders and managing cross-functional teams. Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with varying interest with strong emotional intelligence and empathy. 
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities. Familiarity with advocacy groups and how to engage them in the planning process would be helpful. 
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills. Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations. 
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who is an independent worker, creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems, persistent in obtaining information, and able to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous environments. 
  • Flexibility, adaptability, persistence, humility, inclusivity and sensitivity to cultural differences.

TO APPLY 

Click the link below to upload a resume and complete the online application questions in lieu of a cover letter. The application process will allow you to indicate interest in more than one fellowship opportunity. You only need to submit one application. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as selections will be made on a rolling basis and specific opportunities may close quickly. 

This role offers the opportunity to work full time for 12 months as an independent contractor of FUSE Corps with an annual stipend of $90,000 paid through monthly installments. 

The FUSE Fellowship is an equal opportunity program with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

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APPLY: Accelerating Transportation Improvements in the Mile-High City


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