RFTA works to overcome language barriers | PostIndependent.com

RFTA works to overcome language barriers

Special to the Post Independent"Basic Spanish for Transit Employees" was written by ohn Filippone, a RFTA operations supervisor, and Deb Stewart, Colorado Mountain College's director of senior programs.

Colorado’s Roaring Fork Transit Authority, which provides bus service from Aspen to Rifle, has had a dramatic increase in Spanish-speaking riders in the past 10 years. Many are immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, and are most likely to use bus service when they have the least English-speaking skills.

When John Filippone, a RFTA operations supervisor, and Deb Stewart, Colorado Mountain College’s director of senior programs, discussed their mutual language problem at a state transportation conference, they came up with a solution.

They jointly produced “Basic Spanish for Transit Employees,” which came out in the form of a printed guide of transit phrases in English and Spanish, along with videotapes and DVDs that show drivers and passengers in everyday conversations.

Filippone and Stewart sought and received funding to produce the program through a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The booklets are free to Colorado transit companies, and available to others for $4.50 each. VCR tapes and DVDs are $7 each.

To order copies of the booklets, tapes or DVDs, contact Carolyn Tucker, CMC workforce training coordinator, at 947-8375, (800) 621-8559 ext. 8375 or ctucker@coloradomtn.edu.

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