RTD bus service cuts, route changes coming
DENVER — There are big changes coming for RTD riders across metro Denver.
13 routes will be cut and more than 100 adjusted. The changes will take place beginning January 22.
Outraged riders have sent in letters and petitions to RTD protesting these cuts.
Hundreds of riders say these routes cannot go. RTD says budget cuts leave it no choice but to make some tough decisions that affect riders.
Rudy Martinez doesn’t have a car. “People have been riding this bus from Green Mountain to Lakewood for forever — What are we going to do?”
Martinez has taken the 93X to work for years. But starting January 22nd the 93X will cease operation.
$10 million dollars slashed from R-T-D’s budget created the need for one of the largest service cuts in RTD history.
RTD officials say riders for the 44 Ltd, 121 Ltd, 203, 79 and 48X will have alternate routes — almost identical to what they were taking before.
The 2, 4, 63X, 60 and the Aurora and Superior Call-And-Ride riders will have bus stops that are farther away. Their bus rides will likely become more crowded and longer.
As for 93x and 58x riders, they say their options aren’t great.
“I can’t figure out what connections to take. It seems like it would be simpler to just buy a vehicle,” said RTD Rider Vickie Wade.
“Totally eliminated the route altogether before we even had light rail as an option,” said RTD Rider Dave Bombeck.
Nearly 150 residents in the Arvada area signed a petition requesting that RTD not eliminate the 58X bus route.
Dozens of residents in the Lakewood area are also asking RTD not to shut down the 93X bus.
But RTD reps say they just do not have the money to keep these services going.
“Because our continued loss of sales tax revenue and the recession not fully recovering,” said RTD Spokesman Scott Reed.
RTD officials say they had to make the cuts to pay the bills.
“Discontinuing our transportation – I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think that’s right,” said Martinez.
But now riders, like Martinez, say they’re the ones being shortchanged.
RTD officials say the only way these riders can get their routes back is if they convince the board to reverse its decision.
It has happened in the past but it will be challenging.
See more information about January 22 service changes here