AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The elevators at Nine Mile Station in Aurora have been out of service since last month and are not expected to be fixed for at least another month.
“The only way up to the platform right now is either the elevators or basically three flights of stairs, which, if you have mobility issues, is really hard to navigate,” Julia Bilderback said.
Bilderback catches the light rail at Nine Mile Station three days a week to get to work on the Auraria Campus. She said she has been late several times over the past month because of the broken elevators.
“I have everything from knee issues, I have a heart condition, I also suffer from MS (multiple sclerosis). So for me, trying to get up those stairs, I have to make sure I go slow so that I don’t trigger for my heart to speed up too fast,” she said. “I’m literally dragging myself up.”
RTD shuttle uncertain, unscheduled
However, without the elevators, anyone using a wheelchair, stroller, cart or other mobility device is unable to move between the platform and the parking lot.
“Operators are in direct contact with every customer in a wheelchair,” RTD said in an email to FOX31. “Operators must assist with the boarding process by raising and lowering the ramp for customers to board and deboard the train. It is during these interactions that operators advise every wheelchair customer about challenges, including elevators that may be out of service at a specific station. Operators will also apprise customers of alternatives, so as not to impede their mobility and support arrival at the intended destination.”
RTD has also implemented a temporary shuttle service operating between the Nine Mile and Dayton stations.
“Oh yeah, take these shuttles. But where’s the shuttles? There’s no signage out here to tell people where those shuttles are. There’s nothing clear. And we don’t know a schedule for when those shuttles are running or nothing,” Bilderback said.
According to RTD, the shuttle service runs “when available … but they do not operate on a specific schedule.” Instead, riders are encouraged to explore other established bus routes that connect to other RTD facilities like Arapahoe, Peoria and Aurora Metro Center Station.
“This is adding cost and time to commuters with mobility issues,” Bilderback said. “I just want the elevators fixed. At least one of them. Keep at least one elevator at each station working.”
When will elevators be repaired at Nine Mile Station?
RTD said its contractor is working on collecting the parts necessary to make the repairs to the elevators at Nine Mile Station.
“We do not have an ETA on when those parts will arrive. However, once they do arrive, the repairs themselves will take roughly five weeks to complete, pending weather and/or other unforeseen issues that may arise,” an RTD spokesman said by email.