Rural Academy

Going Statewide! We’re taking the Academy on the road

**Transit Alliance is making site visits in Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson and Grand Counties April 17-18 and May 11-12! Please to set up a meeting!**

We are VERY excited to announce that we are taking the Academy statewide in 2017! This pilot program kicks off in the San Luis Valley and Northwest Colorado, culminating in Citizens’ Academy workshops on-site this fall.

If you live or work in the San Luis Valley or Northwest Transportation Planning Regions, we want to talk to you!

What is the Rural Academy?

Transit Alliance is taking its Citizens’ Academy to rural communities in 2017 in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The Academy will be held in the Northwest counties of Grand, Routt, Rio Blanco, Moffat and Jackson, and in the San Luis Valley in Chaffee, Saguache, Mineral, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties.

The Citizens’ Academy is an educational workshop that brings community leaders and change-makers together to create a roadmap for the future by examining transportation’s connection to economic development, health, changing demographics and the preservation of communities. The Academy creates community leaders and advocates that understand the relationship between the infrastructure investments we make today and our communities’ development, prosperity and health of tomorrow

Why is the Academy going rural? Isn’t transit for urban areas?

Public transit has a much different look and feel across the state. For people who don’t drive (or don’t want to drive), such as seniors, people with disabilities, and people wishing to save money, transit can be a life line to critical services such as medical care, groceries, and education. Since mobility in rural areas cannot be built with a “one size fits all” approach, it is vital to involve citizen stakeholders in the planning process. This is why Transit Alliance and CDOT are partnering to pilot two Citizens’ Academy one-day workshops in the Northwest and San Luis Valley transportation planning regions.The Academy engages citizens from all walks of life and empowers communities to take the lead in planning and implementing new connectivity opportunities.

What will the outcomes be of the Rural Academy? 

Citizens’ Academy graduates make the connection between more mobility options and the economic opportunities, health and sustainability of their community. The Academy forges patient leaders who connect their communities’ needs with transportation innovations. This process will also serve to activate the regional transit plans as a part of CDOT’s larger Statewide Transit Plan.

When is this happening?

Transit Alliance and CDOT will be hosting two workshops, one in each of the pilot regions, in late summer to early fall of 2017. The planning process for these workshops is underway, with staff seeking input from community members and organizations that serve the Northwest region and San Luis Valley.

How do I get involved?

You can support our efforts by: encouraging leaders to apply (April), suggesting venue, pointing out best practice examples, recommending great storytellers and speakers. We will be doing site visits throughout 2017. Please contact our Program Manager Jamie at jperkins(at)transitalliance(dot)org if you would like to get involved with the planning process!