[click here to download PDF]

Bringing TDM Solutions to Communities of Diversity

Northeast Transportation Connections

Angie Rivera-Malpiede
Eric Herbst
Jesse Livingston
Karly Andrus
Kenneth Boden
Lacey Champion
Tricia Stevens



Transportation demand management (TDM) solutions are becoming increasingly important as city planning evolves to accommodate the needs and desires of a less car-centric culture. Instead of spending millions to increase capacity, cities that manage demand can build more cost-effective infrastructure, improve public health, lower environmental impacts, and create more connected and sustainable communities.

TDM covers a wide range of issues that include biking infrastructure, pedestrian safety and mobility, accessible and affordable public transit, car- and vanpool networks, parking solutions, shuttle services, active traffic management, roadspace reallocation, telework plans, and first/last-mile connections. These issues take unique forms in each community, and as such they must be approached with flexible strategies driven by the community itself. Effective change can only be achieved by ongoing interactions with community members in which we listen to them describe the mobility challenges they face as well as the viability of proposed solutions.

This necessity for informed planning comes with its own set of challenges and complications. Sensitivity to cultural norms, overcoming language barriers, gaining trust, and developing relationships with key community leaders are just a few of the steps that must be taken in order to conduct successful outreach to diverse communities that comprise a range of ethnic groups, age brackets, and income levels. This paper will summarize the important questions that must be asked when approaching TDM in communities of diversity. It will advocate for development led by community members at a grassroots level and outline successful strategies gathered from the work of Northeast Transportation Connections in the neighborhoods of northeast Denver.

Northeast Transportation Connections

Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC) is a transportation management association (TMA) serving the northeast Denver region. There are currently about 150 TMAs in the United States. Each works with federal, state, and local governments as well as a variety of public and private organizations to provide TDM solutions to their areas of service.

In 2017, NETC entered into a contract with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to provide TDM to communities affected by the Central 70 project — a refurbishment and expansion of Interstate 70, running through the Globeville, Elyria Swansea, Northeast Park Hill, Stapleton, and Montbello neighborhoods of northeast Denver. These neighborhoods include historically underserved populations with some of the most culturally diverse and lowest-income demographics in the Denver metro area. The already troublesome mobility challenges in this region threatened to become severe as highway construction and roadway detours began, and they have been compounded by both private and city development occurring at the same time in the same limited space. Add to this a lack of infrastructure updates spanning multiple decades and the situation begins to look like a perfect storm, prompting the need for innovative programs to address a wide variety of issues in each neighborhood.

One of the first such partnerships between a TMA and a DOT in the nation’s history, this outreach effort provides an extraordinary opportunity to study the viability and efficacy of TDM programs aimed at communities of diversity affected by a major construction project. However, the lessons of NETC’s ongoing work in these communities need not apply only to this type of scenario; rather, they point to universal issues endemic to such populations and can provide a model for TDM outreach conducted in similar communities across the world.

Effective Outreach Strategies

The most crucial step in successful outreach to underserved communities of diversity must be to speak personally with community members in order to hear their concerns and ask for their input on the types of programs they feel would be useful to them in their daily lives. As simple as this process may seem, it is overlooked time and again by organizations attempting to help diverse populations. Determining ahead of time which programs to institute in a particular community often wastes both time and money, as these programs are apt to falter due to lack of community buy-in or simply a misapprehension of what is and isn’t needed in a particular region.

The inverse of this problem is also true in many cases: When we assume there is a mode of transportation a community will not use, it is often due to cultural stereotypes and generalizations about the lives of low-income residents. For example, the recent introduction of dockless scooter-share services such as Bird, Lime, and Razor into major cities would at first glance appear to be a luxury activity for well-to-do citizens; however, NETC found that residents of the Globeville and Elyria Swansea neighborhoods were eager to try the scooters and expressed dissatisfaction that their communities seemed to have been omitted from the initial roll-out.

The assumption that because poor people don’t have credit cards they must therefore be unable to participate in scooter sharing, bike sharing, or similar services fails to take into account a basic fact of current technology: 77% of Americans now own smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center. This number is up from just 35% in Pew’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011.[1] Smartphones are now affordable across all income levels, and they can be easily linked to a bank account through sharing apps, obviating the need for a credit card. However, we shouldn’t assume that everyone will be willing to provide their personal details to such apps; some will have concerns about immigration status or other issues. There are often no easy answers to the “digital divide” that can lead so easily to discriminatory services and programs. We must listen to community members, avoid generalizing about what will work for a certain population, and sometimes provide multiple programs to address the same issue. Diverse communities require diverse solutions.

Gaining Trust

Gaining the trust of a community is not easy. It can often feel as though we are not making progress in implementing our programs, but we may in fact be slowly building trust that will eventually allow these programs to succeed. In building trust, it is important to maintain a respectful, open, and reliable presence. We must show up to meetings and listen instead of talking. If we advertise that we will be available to community members at a certain time and place, we must be there and stay for the whole time allotted, even if attendance is low or nonexistent.

In historically underserved communities, residents are usually not inclined to take advantage of programs or services because they fundamentally do not believe the organizations providing them have their best interests at heart. They have been burned before and are hesitant to give it a second, third, or fourth chance. We can anticipate that when we initiate a program people will be slow to adopt it. It will take time to prove that our efforts are sincere. For example, in the neighborhoods affected by Central 70, NETC did not simply roll out a monthly transit pass program; staff first attended events and gave out free day passes so that residents could see first-hand their willingness to follow through on the promises of assistance they had made. Initially, registration for the free monthly passes hovered at around 10-15 participants, but word of mouth soon spread to their neighbors, and the program became trusted and utilized. Currently about 60 people receive passes each month. The process of gaining trust and launching the program spanned the entire first year of NETC’s outreach work in this community.

NETC’s outreach to employers and employees in the region encountered a much higher willingness to try proposed solutions, but it came with its own set of challenges. Face-to-face meetings with employees proved the most successful strategy. Mailers sent to local businesses were useful in setting up initial meetings, but their overall effectiveness was difficult to gauge. Alsco—a linen rental and workwear company—offered NETC staff the most access to individual employees, setting up monthly meetings which employees were encouraged to attend. This resulted in a high rate of participation in NETC’s programs. Because they received tangible benefits such as free transit passes or money for carpooling, employees eagerly awaited these meetings and readily engaged with NETC staff. At businesses where such in-person access was limited, participation was significantly lower.

Partnering with organizations that are already trusted in the community can go a long way toward establishing credibility and raising participation. Acting as gatekeepers and reliable sources of information, these partners can help new programs gain a foothold much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. Community members themselves can also be ambassadors to the larger population, vouching for the sincerity and utility of outreach efforts.

With technological, social, and political factors constantly changing, it is vital to solicit input from community members in order to gain a current understanding of transportation issues specific to their lives. Often this requires speaking to them in person, as this will provide information and insight that might be missed by surveys alone. Such personal communication will allow for informed program development that is effective, appealing to the target users, and sensitive to their cultural norms.

Cultural Sensitivity

The average American now spends 40% of their income on housing and transportation.[2] In the Denver region, the average is 50%.[3] How does one navigate this reality if one makes $12,000 a year? Affordable transportation programs are essential to those living below the poverty line. However, these programs are frequently underused despite their clear benefit to the community.

For instance, in working with low-income Denver neighborhoods that have a majority Hispanic population, NETC has encountered a perception that “trains are for rich white people”—a sentiment clearly at odds with rail usage in major cities like Chicago and New York and therefore not a deeply rooted cultural prejudice. This reluctance to use Denver’s rail network is the product of several factors, one certainly being the lack of first/last-mile connectivity to rail stations in these neighborhoods. However, it is important to note that the light rail and commuter rail systems in Denver have not been effectively marketed to Spanish-speakers, resulting in very little impetus for cultural change; nor have low-income residents historically been offered an affordable transit pass, Denver being near the top of the list of mid-sized U.S. cities with least affordable public transit.[4] A low-income fare program was instituted very recently by Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), but the results have yet to be evaluated.


The essential fact here is that diverse populations most likely cannot use a service if they haven’t been informed about it in their native language. A lack of properly translated promotional materials can easily lead to a misunderstanding of how to use the service or whether the service is accessible to a particular community. In some cases, a community may even be completely unaware of the existence of a service, as NETC found to be the case with a shuttle program in the Globeville neighborhood.

One of the main requests NETC staff received when asking residents which programs or services would be most beneficial to them during the Central 70 construction was for a community shuttle to local grocery stores. Located in a food desert, Globeville residents without access to a car must attempt to use the bus, and they often have trouble getting back home with all of their shopping bags. The surprising fact in this situation was that a community shuttle already existed in this neighborhood, but residents didn’t know about it due to a lack of marketing. Using Spanish-language flyers delivered by the Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail service to all homes in the Globeville zip code, NETC was able to revive the shuttle program, picking up residents at various spots in the neighborhood and then dropping them at their front doors with their groceries.

In order to run successful programs in an ethnically diverse community, a thorough survey must be made of all languages spoken in that community. In an area as small as 10 square miles, Denver residents speak many languages, including Spanish, English, French, Karen, Amharic, Burmese, Somali, Maay, Japanese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Each language must be evaluated separately to determine the percentage of monolingual speakers and the resulting need for translated materials.

In conducting outreach to employees of local businesses who spoke Karen (a language group from the Myanmar region), NETC encountered issues of literacy. Not only was this population largely non-English-speaking, some had difficulty reading materials in their native tongue. Brochures printed in Karen provoked interest but sometimes caused confusion. Of course in a situation where outreach staff do not read or speak the target language, it can be difficult to determine whether the confusion stems from lack of literacy or from improper translation and colloquial misunderstandings. Languages are sometimes written less formally and more phonetically by native speakers, in which case a “perfect” translation may actually be more difficult to parse.

Decisions about verbal translation often must be made on the fly during meetings. In a situation where employees are puzzled by the information being offered, the best solution is to request assistance from the group. Finding an employee whose English is good and asking them to help translate can overcome many difficulties, as they will most likely speak the target language in the same dialect and using the same idioms as their coworkers. Gauging the success of translation is not easy, but keeping an eye on who is and is not engaged with a presentation in a particular room can serve as a guide. Stopping to ask whether certain members of the group are having trouble understanding the presentation is never a waste of time and will pay dividends in program participation.

Not every word associated with TDM will have a culturally recognized equivalent. For instance, when attempting to translate the words “shuttle bus” into Spanish, NETC found that many residents did not understand the term because shuttle buses are not commonplace in Latin America. The most literal translation of the word — “lanzadera” — was actually understood to mean “space shuttle,” a fact which would not be immediately apparent from cursory research. NETC consulted with multiple translators, but ultimately it was the community members themselves who provided the word most likely to be recognized: “camioncito,” meaning “small truck” or “small van.” On the surface this would seem like an inaccurate translation; however, the word had already been adopted by the Spanish-speaking community in this region as a result of their previous experience with shuttle services that employed vans.

Translations must also be attuned to particular words or phrases that could be culturally insensitive. In the best case, these can be viewed as ridiculous, and in the worst case as offensive. Cultural norms often go hand-in-hand with terminology.

Cultural Norms

When evaluating the potential community buy-in for a particular program, other cultural factors besides language must be taken into account. It is important to consult with representatives from the community to gain a sense of the values, taboos, and etiquette of each culture whose members may use the program. Often there may be hidden factors that could keep the program from catching on, and this community expertise can help uncover them.

When setting up a carpool network for employees along the I-70 corridor, NETC learned that many Hispanic women were driven to and from work every day by their husbands. Driving with strangers was frowned upon, considered both unseemly and unsafe. By introducing these women and their husbands to each other, NETC was able to build trust and form carpools that would not otherwise have been possible.

Offering financial incentives can also go a long way toward overcoming cultural barriers, as economic necessity is often the bottom line for struggling families. As long as we listen and do not try to force anyone to do something they aren’t comfortable with, these types of issues can sometimes work themselves out.

Populations do tend to self-segregate, which can present a problem for TDM implementation. People naturally and understandably want to be with people who are like them, whose values and experiences they share. In a perfect world, we would be able to form multi-ethnic carpools to businesses in close proximity to one another; however, issues of class can also impede these types of programs. Employees may not feel comfortable riding with someone they perceive as being of lower or higher economic status due to a lack of familiarity with that person’s life experience. Again, these should not be viewed as insurmountable obstacles but rather as challenges to be overcome with listening and communication.

Cultural norms also affect outreach through media. Each community has specific T.V. and radio stations they prefer, as well as local newsletters and magazines they read. To effectively reach a specific population, these outlets must be understood and utilized. Direct in-person or door-to-door outreach is frequently the most successful, but it isn’t always possible to speak to every resident in a neighborhood or every employee in a business district. A wide range of people can be contacted through a careful selection of media outlets. It can be tricky to determine which ones to use, but this issue can usually be cleared up by talking to community leaders and members of city or ward councils who know their districts/wards inside and out.

Identifying Community Leaders

Connecting at a grassroots level is often the only truly successful strategy when working with culturally diverse communities. And yet, a large percentage of the population simply may not have enough time in a given day for an in-depth conversation about transportation issues. Those living and working below the poverty line have more pressing concerns, such as getting their kids to school or to the doctor, getting themselves to work or to the grocery store, and finding time to socialize and strengthen the bonds that keep their community together. Whether or not their morning bus is on time is usually more important to them than an abstract discussion of possible future improvements.

Add to this the fact that many communities harbor an entirely justified mistrust of those who would come in from outside and tell them how they should be living. In our experience, as well-intentioned as most TMAs, nonprofits, and community development organizations are, the majority do not allow their development to be led by community members, and therefore they have a tendency to exhaust the trust and patience of those they are attempting to help by forcing uninformed solutions on already overworked and marginalized people.

It is a mistake to assume that those living in poverty are less willing or able to understand broader issues of city planning. They may have significant knowledge of these issues and care a great deal about them, but they may not have the mental bandwidth to fully engage with them on a daily basis. Coming to an occasional community meeting is often the extent of involvement they can manage.

This is where community leaders come in. Engaging with key people who have influence in a particular cultural group is invaluable to the overall achievement of TDM goals. These are often elders, tribal leaders, or religious figures such as pastors. In northeast Denver, a group of comadres (“co-mothers,” or female elders) formed a group called the GES Coalition, employing residents as neighborhood block captains. NETC staff consulted with the Coalition about the implementation of new programs and found that the programs began to market themselves. Residents started recommending them to their neighbors, even going so far as to put flyers in their neighbors’ mailboxes on their own initiative.

The Coalition later approached NETC to ask about mobility during the Central 70 construction, and staff were able to set up a meeting with CDOT to address their concerns. NETC also gave CDOT boots-on-the-ground information about the most commonly used walking, biking, and driving paths through affected neighborhoods so that construction crews could avoid blocking them. This back-and-forth between community leaders and NETC staff led to a working relationship that benefited all parties involved.

In conducting employer/employee outreach along the I-70 corridor, NETC was able to join forces with business associations such as Globeville Civic Partners and the Elyria-Swansea-Globeville Business Association. These local stakeholders already possessed an informed and engaged audience, offering to include NETC outreach information in periodic email blasts to their mailing lists.

Such partnerships can be invaluable when considering sustainability of programs and economies of scale. One organization cannot do everything, and a particular outreach project may have a limited time-frame. Keeping abreast of the work being done by other groups in the region can lead to an extended lifetime for TDM programs. In terms of managing one’s own time and resources, it is also helpful to be able to steer interested community members to a partner organization doing more specialized work that can better address their needs.

Political Neutrality

Employers themselves can be considered community leaders, as they are the gatekeepers for the flow of information to their employees. In approaching businesses that would be affected by Central 70 construction, NETC staff sometimes encountered misdirected anger about the project from business owners who assumed that NETC was synonymous with CDOT and must therefore bear responsibility for the confusion and disruption they were experiencing.

This is where we find one of the most important TDM strategies for outreach to historically underserved communities. Staying politically neutral in regard to the work of DOTs, city governments, private contractors, and other groups can mean life or death for an outreach project. If community members perceive an organization to be on one side of a particular issue, this could well determine the entirety of their opinion about that organization. Because organizations doing TDM work are most often coming into affected communities from the outside, they are more likely to be perceived as adversarial to community interests no matter how useful their programs may be. Members of underserved communities tend to see all outside forces as a unified and uncaring horde of unkept promises and daily humiliations. They have no inclination to distinguish one outsider from another unless they are given reason to. Once we make it clear that we are there to serve rather than to judge or to burden, doors will open to a surprising extent.

In the case of northeast Denver employers, NETC heard many similar messages: “The city does not care about me or communicate with me.” “Everything is being rezoned without regard for my business.” “Developers are putting my property taxes through the roof.” Through consistent conversations, staff was able to explain to business owners that NETC was an independent organization using DOT funds purely to provide services that would help ameliorate the effects of construction. Once this was established, the situation was diffused to the point where employers were eager for assistance and happy to start broadcasting outreach information to their employees.

When all a commuter or resident knows is that they can’t get on or off the highway where they used to be able to, shoe-leather diplomacy goes a long way. We must listen and not discount their concerns, making it clear that we are there to meet their needs no matter which way the political wind may blow. An attitude of humility and service is essential to successful work under such conditions.

Flexible Programming

Once the need for a particular program has been determined, community buy-in has been established, and the program has been launched, the most important element to reckon with is flexibility. A program cannot live on the strength of its merits; rather, it must constantly adjust to changing expectations and logistical factors.

Talking to community members to determine what will or won’t work is just the first step. This dialogue must be maintained, because there may be obstacles that even community members themselves do not anticipate. Leaders can sometimes overestimate community buy-in. Community members may not fully understand how a program will operate until they experience it first-hand. A program tailored to a current set of circumstances may become obsolete when something in these circumstances changes, even something small.

In some cases, community members may ask for a particular program that they do not end up using for one reason or another. Having initiated and operated multiple shuttles in the northeast Denver region, NETC found that some of the shuttle routes had extremely low or nonexistent ridership and therefore had to be canceled. This is an example of flexible programming in action. A service that does not catch on or turns out not to be viable should not be viewed as a failure; instead, it should be seen as an intermediate step in the process of crafting a successful version that will address evolving needs.

In other cases, an unanticipated need may arise from the implementation of a program. In launching a transit pass program for neighborhoods affected by Central 70, NETC partnered with Denver’s regional transit authority, RTD, to offer free monthly passes to residents who income qualified. Many residents did not income qualify, but they expressed a need to use transit for occasional trips such as doctor visits. As a result, NETC began giving out day passes in addition to the monthly passes.

Programs must be kept fluid based primarily on community input. Modeling an idea is all well and good, but ideas tend to be rigid and limited to the circumstances perceived at their inception. As a result, we often begin the process of development from a relatively narrow scope that views particular goals as paramount when they are actually no more than points in a larger picture, moments in a larger time-frame. To a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We must keep our eyes and ears open in order to learn the true placement of the nails; then we may design a hammer best suited to the situation.

Of course limited resources can be a challenge in testing many iterations of a program, but this only highlights the need for consistent contact with the target community, making sure resources are not being wasted. For instance, NETC established an “activity shuttle” that offered local families the chance to take their kids to free days at the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, and other cultural amenities. Parents requested the shuttle because they wanted to give their kids the opportunity to get out of the neighborhood and participate in these free programs, but they did not have the transportation resources to get them there. Despite this anticipated need, the activity shuttle saw very low ridership after several months of operation. NETC retooled the program, offering the shuttle vans to neighborhood organizations trying to find transportation for their own field trips. The GES Coalition used one of the vans for eight weeks to bring kids to a free summer camp, an opportunity of which they had been unable to take advantage due to lack of transportation. Another community partner, the Valdez-Perry Library, took kids to the Denver Zoo, a Family Fun Center, and downtown for a holiday craft fair and book reading. In this way, a program that saw very low participation was transformed into a highly successful program by listening to the needs of the community.

In the realm of business outreach, NETC may almost appear to have metamorphosed into an entirely different organization in the space of a year’s work. This has been due to engaging with people on their terms and changing expectations radically based on their feedback. Both major and minor tweaks to programs have been necessary, as even nominally successful ones aren’t successful for every workplace. If an outreach effort does not hit the sweet spot for a particular work culture, it must be adjusted, often depending on the size of the workforce. Larger companies tend to have less individual access to their employees, resulting in lower program participation. Some businesses are excited about programs but have been unable to implement them in their current form. At RK Mechanical—a large construction and manufacturing company—an RTD FlexPass initiative was found to be too laborious for HR managers to handle effectively. NETC altered the program so that the employees were required to do most of the work to participate, and results were more favorable.

Consulting with the Community

If the heart of flexible programming is soliciting input from community members, then there is one more aspect to the process that is absolutely essential: We must meet with them during times that are convenient to their daily schedules. Office hours and community meetings must be held at times of day and on days of the week when the maximum number of participants will be available—be it morning, noon, or night. Legitimate communication cannot take place when only a handful of people have been contacted. NETC holds office hours at times of day and in locations where the community is already gathered. These include pickup times at local schools and hours when nonprofits such as Elyria Swansea’s The GrowHaus offer free food to residents.

In the same vein, it is crucial to hold several meetings about a particular program during the design phase. Participants who cannot make it to one meeting may be able to attend a subsequent one. If low turnout continues to be an issue, surveys can be a useful tool to collect information and opinions. However, these should be used sparingly in communities that are being targeted by multiple organizations at once. Working in the region affected by Central 70 construction, where many groups were attempting to gather data for potential development, NETC found “survey fatigue” to be a real issue. As with other facets of the process, community members have limited time and bandwidth for answering lists of questions. As a result, it is a good idea to keep surveys as short as possible.

Meeting fatigue can also be a problem. In some overexposed neighborhoods, even the classic offer of free food will not attract residents to a meeting. NETC has approached this problem by hiring trusted community members to assist with programs. When designing a Walking School Bus initiative in which groups of children walk to school under the supervision of an adult, NETC staff hired local mothers to talk to their neighbors, gather input, and assess want and needs. Sending mailers directly to homes is another effective strategy, as it does not require residents to go anywhere or do anything in order to obtain information. Text message mailing lists can also be a low-commitment alternative, although some community members may not want to give out their phone numbers or may have cell phone plans that charge them per text.

Surveys can be easier to implement when working with employers, as they have the clout to ensure employee participation. At Alsco, one of NETC’s strongest company partnerships, NETC staff receives monthly feedback from employees; this is, however, a best-case scenario. In the instance of NETC’s Try Transit program, staff never meet participants face-to-face and must survey them to find out if they are using the free transit passes provided and whether / how often they continue to use public transit after leaving the program. Staff also send out emails asking if participants would mind tracking their commutes on My Way to Go, a trip-tracking website operated by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). This is a labor-intensive process, but it is appropriate for the circumstances in order to solicit useful data. Some populations are simply more difficult to connect with.

Feedback about programs runs the gamut from great success to lessons learned, and we should never be afraid of it. If we develop a wide range of programs to address the expressed needs of a community, then the community will tell us which ones to focus on, which ones to adjust, and which ones to abandon. TDM is not an exact science; it must mutate to fit the form of each region. As such, we are not the owners of the programs we develop. We are merely the stewards of these projects until they gain enough support and engagement to flourish on their own.


When we initiate development in culturally and economically diverse communities, we must ask several questions, including: What will outreach look like? Who are programs for? Who will actually use them? How will they be executed? How will they be evaluated?

The best way to answer these questions meaningfully is through communication. Working in a bubble of ideas and intentions that is disconnected from reality does no one any good. It wastes resources and time, and it fails in its basic purpose: to help those in need. If we want to understand these needs and figure out how to address them, we must listen and learn from the people who experience them every day. They are the best source of data and often the best source of ideas for programs that will create lasting change.

This communication can only be facilitated by meeting communities on their own terms. We must speak to community members when it is convenient for them, and we must contact them in their native language, translating outreach materials with their help and utilizing the media outlets they prefer. We must seek out community leaders and ask their advice in order to fashion programs that will be sensitive to cultural norms. We should never make assumptions about what a community will or won’t find useful. We should ignore stereotypes about cultural groups or those living in poverty, and we should treat them as the best source of information and ideas to address their needs. Lastly, we must ensure that our solutions are flexible, constantly evaluating them with community input to verify their viability.

Successful development led by community members can only occur when we start from a position of openness and collaboration. Listening and learning are the cornerstones of effective transportation demand management in communities of diversity, and there are a multitude of successful strategies waiting to be discovered if we begin our search by asking for their diverse perspectives.

[1] Pew Research Center: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm

[3] Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/regions/mountain-plains/summary/blssummary_denver.pdf

[4] ValuePenguin survey: https://www.valuepenguin.com/most-and-least-affordable-cities-commuting