RTD prepares to unveil new north metro N Line service amid budget talks

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Regional Transportation District gave members of the press a first look at the N Line Thursday, which will provide new commuter rail service to north metro Denver.

Like many other services, RTD board members are recommending staff and pay reductions. The talks are leaving some with questions about staffing the new line.

The district’s most recent proposal calls for cutting as many as 550 staffers. Some board members want executives to take pay cuts to avoid dropping drivers.

The new service spans 18.5 miles and runs from downtown Denver to Thornton.

With more area to cover on the new line, does the district have enough employees for the new service? RTD Interim General Manager and CEO Paul Ballard said yes. 

“We have plenty of operators. Unfortunately, we are in that situation because we did a 40 percent service reduction back in April and we anticipate that reduction being in place until at least early 2021. We have plenty of employees,” said Ballard.

Area union members said the increased workload could be problematic for the employees if the workforce is reduced.

“If we make bad decisions and reduce our staffing levels, we do potentially go back to requiring a day off work, we can be right in the same boat we were last year,” said Lance Lance Longenbohn, ATU Local 1001 president.

Union members want the public to reach out to board leaders to oppose the layoffs before the budget is set in stone.

Passengers can try out the new N Line service for free this week.

The virtual grand opening of the new line kicks off Monday morning. 

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