RTD proposes light rail, bus service reductions amid operator shortage

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RTD light rail train in Denver

An RTD light rail train in Denver.

Data pix.

DENVER -- Thursday evening, the Regional Transportation District revealed a proposal for reducing bus and light rail service.

The announcement comes as RTD faces a number of problems, including an operator shortage, high fares and low ridership. Last month, RTD CEO Dave Genova announced his retirement. His replacement has not been announced.

The new proposal includes eliminating six bus routes that overlap with other routes.

The six routes include: Route 55 (Olde Town Arvada Ridge), Route 157 (Community College of Aurora Buckley), Route 236 (Boulder Junction/US 36), Route 403 (Lucent Boulevard), Route 16L (duplicate route), Route 99L (Federal Center/South Kipling).

RTD is also proposing reducing services on the following routes: 0L, 1, 16, 16L, 27, 32, 46, 55, 65, 67, 99, 99L, 125, 130, 139, 153, 157, 206, 236, 403, 483 and JUMP.

The agency also plans to suspend BroncosRide, BuffRide and special services for Rockies games.

Additionally, 16th Street MallRide service would be reduced to every three minutes at peak hours.

RTD says para-transit services like Access-a-Ride would not be affected.

In terms of light rail service, RTD plans to cut the D Line entirely on weekends. C Line services will be expanded on weekends to help compensate.

The D and C lines both serve the southern suburbs. However, the C Line originates at Union Station, while the D Line loops through downtown.

Overall, the change would impact roughly 10% of daily bus rides and 40% of daily rail rides metro-wide.

The proposed changes are not final. RTD plans to further review the plans with its board and the public before they are implemented.

While RTD says the changes would not be permanent, it is unclear exactly how long they would last.

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