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Reader: Shouldn't We Be Increasing Public Transit Instead of Reducing It?

Under service cuts proposed by RTD management, the Free MallRide shuttle would run every ninety seconds at peak hours, rather than every three minutes.
Under service cuts proposed by RTD management, the Free MallRide shuttle would run every ninety seconds at peak hours, rather than every three minutes.
David Soto
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This past week, Regional Transportation District officials laid out how they plan to cut service as part of their efforts to address the agency's persistent shortage of train and bus operators. RTD's proposal would discontinue service entirely on six bus routes that the agency says are low-performing.

The 16th Street Mall shuttles would become less frequent, as would other lines.

Here's what readers have to say about the proposal and RTD in general. Notes James:

Shouldn’t we be increasing public transportation instead of reducing it? The massive, steady influx of new residents to Denver metro not only clogs up the roads but also takes a toll on our air quality.

Explains Brendan:

RTD = Reason To Drive

Argues Max:

Colorado really doesn’t care about transportation...and it shows...

Says Sarah:

I rode the 16L for the last 2 years and stopped in July when I changed jobs. To say it’s under utilized is nuts — it was standing room only in the mornings and packed as hell.

Explains Shawn:

For those that can’t be bothered to read the article: Service is being cut due to a shortage of drivers. Pay and benefits seem pretty good, but sounds like they need to be higher to attract more applicants.

The affected routes would include the 16L along West Colfax; the 55 to Arvada Ridge; the 99L to the Federal Center; the 157 between Aurora and Buckley Air Force Base; the 236 between Boulder Junction and Table Mesa; and the 403 between Littleton and Lone Tree. Users of Access-a-Ride, RTD's paratransit service, who live within the service area of the eliminated bus routes will be grandfathered in, officials said, but the service will no longer accept new applicants in those areas.

The plan, which was presented to the RTD Board of Directors during a study session on December 19, would also eliminate special services like BuffRide and BroncosRide, which have carried passengers to and from sports games and other special events. Nineteen other bus routes would see reduced service under the proposal — including the popular Free MallRide shuttle, which would run every three minutes at peak frequency rather than every ninety seconds.

The cuts would also affect light rail, where the agency's operator shortage is most severe and dozens of canceled trips have become an almost daily occurrence. D Line service to Littleton would be discontinued on weekends, the H Line would see reduced frequency on Saturdays, and the R Line between Aurora and Lone Tree would run every thirty minutes on weekdays, rather than the current fifteen minutes.

What do you think of RTD? Let us know in a comment or at editorial@westword.com.

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