Rural Academy

Going Statewide! We took the Academy on the road

UPDATE 11/27/17



What is the Rural Academy?

Transit Alliance took its Citizens’ Academy to rural communities in 2017 in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The Academy was held in the Northwest counties of Grand, Routt, Rio Blanco, Moffat and Jackson on November 9. The Academy in the San Luis Valley was held for Chaffee, Saguache, Mineral, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties on October 26.

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, other transportation options 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 did it happen?

Transit Alliance and CDOT hosted two workshops, one in each of the pilot regions in 2017. The planning process for these workshops included input from community members and organizations that serve the Northwest region and San Luis Valley.