Denver’s faltering A Line has been an albatross around the neck of the otherwise helpful, if limited, mass transit rail system connecting the Mile High City, as we've mentioned once or twice. Last year was no kinder to RTD than it was to the rest of the world, what with the high-profile promises; the evident, multifaceted and constant problems; and the lame excuses as to just why it was all happening.
So what can the “train to the plane” do in the new year to turn things around? Here are a lucky seven resolutions for 2017 — and RTD at this point will take all the luck it can get.
7. I will be on time.
“On time” is an important part of mass transit. Some would argue that it’s right up there with actually arriving at your destination. Because it’s the “train to the plane,” people, as in, “I have a real-life motherfucking plane to catch, and it’s not going to wait for me because the train is a little tardy.” Of course, “on-time” means that everything runs smoothly, and that’s an issue for a lot of RTD’s lines, not just the trouble-magnet that is the A Line. The light rail is often just as bad, and on a wider scale. What’s worse is that there’s currently no mechanism in place to effectively communicate when a train is running behind. Everyone’s metaphorically in the dark, and this time of year, when you’re trying to catch the train home at the end of the day, that darkness becomes literal.
6. I will no longer use insulting contradictions in a vain attempt for better press.
Back in November, news came from RTD that through early January, there would be interruptions of service on the A Line. Note that this announcement conveniently omitted the fact that this period of time included three of the largest travel days in the calendar year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Specifically, RTD announced “intermittent routine maintenance” on the A Line overnight, which could cause delays in the late evening and early mornings. RTD, routine maintenance isn’t intermittent, and intermittent interruptions aren’t routine. Like Judge Judy likes to say: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
5. I will not maroon my passengers.
In 2016, the many problems with the A Line caused passengers to physically exit the stranded train cars and traverse a fifty-foot-high bridge to get to safety. They were able to eventually catch a bus to get them (very late) to their destinations, but nowhere on the wish list of the average mass-transit customer is the word “eventually.” However, “Don’t strand me on a goddamn bridge” is. At least it is now.
4. I will pay tribute to the Norse deity Thor and all other lightening gods.
Because having your lines struck by lightning once is a freak accident. Twice? That’s an omen.
Keep reading for more resolutions.
3. I will live up to my commitments.
Last year was supposed to see the opening of the eleven-mile commuter-rail G Line up to Wheat Ridge, as well as the light-rail R Line out to Aurora…but right before Thanksgiving, RTD admitted that wasn’t going to happen. A spokesman for the line reported to the Denver Post that the decision was made to make the announcement “because of the sheer lack of days remaining before the end of the year.” Perhaps RTD was under the impression that there was a thirteenth month tucked in between November and December? Or maybe RTD is run by seven-year-olds who think that it’s FOREVER between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Or maybe it was that they were counting on one more lightning strike, timed exactly right, to send everything back to 1955, when they’ll have more than sixty years to get the bugs out of the system. At this point, anything’s possible.
2. I will clean up and live right.
Speaking of bugs in the system, RTD has something of an infestation. Between software issues with the signaling to mechanical failures to requiring actual orange-vested human beings to serve as crossing guards at intersections where the automatic guardrails aren’t as automatic as they’re supposed to be, the A Line is only the most apparent of the tech issues plaguing RTD. Maybe it should go on a serious cleanse in the new year, purify the system, get its shit together. Maybe it can start dating again — but not yet. Right now, RTD wouldn’t be good for anyone.
1. I will cut back on my pot consumption.
This is your train; this is your train on drugs. Any questions?
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.