Proposed RTD Cuts: What You Need To Know

I just attended the study session for RTD’s service reductions. After the initial presentation on broad themes related to service cuts for RTD, there was discussion on what would specifically be cut. Here are routes that will be reduced/eliminated that you need to know about.

Bus Eliminations/Reductions

1. 16L On West Colfax- Runs from Civic Center Park to Downtown Golden

This line holds a particular significance to me because it is the line I would use in the past to get to work. If it wasn’t running, my work commute would increase from roughly 45 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes. The detour the 16 takes when the 16L is not running is something that inconveniences a lot of people, including myself.

2. 55 in Arvada- Runs From Arvada Ridge to Olde Town Arvada

3. 99L in Lakewood – Runs from Southwest Plaza to Federal Center Station

4.  157 in Aurora- Runs from Aurora Metro Center to Buckley Air Force Base

5. 236 in Boulder- Runs from Table Mesa to Boulder Junction Stations

6. 403 in Highlands Ranch- Runs from Littleton Station to Lincoln Station

7. Special Services such BroncosRide, RockiesRide, and rides to CU Denver Games would be eliminated

Access-a-Ride Services and para-transit will not be affected.

Bus Reductions

0L (South Broadway)

Selected Peak period trips would be discontinued

1 (1st Avenue)

Service discontinued east of Alameda Station

16 (West Colfax)

Service added to offset elimination of 16L

27 (East Yale Avenue)

Service will be combined with Route 46 north of Yale Avenue and discontinued service south of Hampden. New south terminal at
Southmoor pnR.

32 (32nd Ave/City Park)

Discontinue service east of Downtown and west of Wadsworth Boulevard.

46 (South Dahlia Street)

Combine with 27 south of Yale Avenue, replacing former routing.

65 (Monaco Parkway)

Sunday from 30 minute to 60 minute frequency

67 (Ridge Road)

Reduce service frequency weekday and Saturday

99 (South Kipling)

Weekend Service Discontinued

125 (Youngfield/Ward)

Service north of Ward Road Station discontinued

130 (Yale/Buckley)

Reduce frequency from 15 to 30 minutes.

139 (Quincy)

Discontinue 5:13am, 5:41am 5:56am eastbound and 4:40am westbound trips

153 (Chambers) 

Reduce peak frequency from 15 to 30 minutes between Arapahoe Crossing and Peoria&Smith Road Stn. 437

206 (Pearl/Manhattan/Fairview High School)

Discontinue weekday mid-day service (930am to 230pm); remove route between BJDS and Arapahoe/55th

483 (Parker Road/Lincoln Ave)

Reduce peak frequency from 30 to 60 minutes.

JUMP (Boulder Lafayette Via Arapahoe

Reduce frequency to hourly wk mid-day, east of 63rd/Arap-Lafayette

Free Mallride

Service reduced from 90 seconds to 3 minute intervals.

Rail Changes/Eliminations

1. D Line- Runs from Mineral to 18th and California, would be eliminated on Weekends. C Line would have added weekend base period service frequency

2. H-Line-Runs from Florida to 18th and California, would have reduced Saturday Frequency

3. R-Line-Runs from Ridgegate to Peoria, would be reduced to 2 trains per hour

Commuter trains would not be affected.

Concerns From the Board

The board of directors had some concerns when they were presented with this plan publicly for the first time. Director Judy Lubow asked in regards to whether staff had put together a plan or hired a consultant in regards to retention for drivers. Director Jeff Walker was curious about if they could retain more employees by finalizing cuts before the next round of service changes in May. Shontel Lewis spoke from the logistical aspects of hiring drivers, speaking about issues regarding class sizes, number of supervisors per garage, and the issue of whether service reductions would actually cut down on mandated overtime, a common theme that emerged among the directors. The response in regards to the mandated overtime question was the same in every instance, with staff stressing that, while it should still be available, it should not be required.

Another common theme was in regards to the Broncos, Rockies, and CU Denver ride services that would be cut. While Director Kate Williams stated that Broncos season ticket holders wouldn’t necessarily need the service, others pointed out how the services are often and entry level introduction to RTD that creates more riders.

Director Lynn Guissinger and others ask if certain cuts would be temporary, while others were not, another common theme among the directors. Guissinger also inquired about the possibility of Denver and Boulder buying out certain RTD routes to keep them funded, an allusion partially to Denver’s new Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and the role it could play with the agency during these times. Director Vince Buzek was the only board member to explicitly come out against the service cuts, saying that a “transit agency should provide transit” and noting that the amount of cuts for bus were greater than the amount of cuts for rail despite over 100 rail trips often being cut a day.

Perhaps the most poignant statement for me came from Director Bob Broom, who noted that, while R-Line ridership was up 4% compared to the rest of rail in Denver, the R-Line was still getting cut back to 2 trains per hour. Additionally, the suggestion by Director Angie Rivera-Malpiede that RTD hold pop-up events at stations in regards to the cut was a marketing idea that I wholeheartedly agree with. The section of the meeting adjourned with the promise of a full spreadsheet detailing the extent of the cuts, which will be added here in the morning.

What’s Next?

There will be 15 public meetings held by RTD in each district in regards to the service cuts throughout the months of January and February. This space will keep you updated in a later post on when those public meetings will be, and will keep you more in depth updated on the meeting located in Denver County. Stay tuned.

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