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.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.