Aurora commuters, officials rail against RTD’s proposed R Line cuts

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AURORA | Several residents told Regional Transportation District decision makers Thursday night that “build it and they will come” was the wrong assumption when it came to the R Line, which has been running through Aurora for less than six months but is already facing service reductions.

Upon proposing purging stops along the R Line south of the Florida Station at off-peak times and on weekends, RTD held the public meeting Thursday at Aurora city hall to hear concerns and other possible suggestions that would address low ridership on the line. Several who showed up to the meeting said they ride the R Line either regularly or occasionally, and the proposed cuts would hinder their commute.

PERRY: RTD loses its train of thought and runs over Aurora by derailing the R Line

Others said they typically take the R Line on the weekends to get to downtown Denver for social events. Under the recommendation the R Line would not run on weekends south of Florida. However, an H Line would be available at the Florida Station, as an interline for riders. There would be no need to change trains.

Increasing bus services to the R Line and better marketing were among the most popular recommendations the crowd gave RTD officials.

In addition with a room full of unhappy riders, community leaders expressed their disappointment in the proposal.

Bob Broom, an RTD director for much of the area the R Line services, said he thought RTD ought to wait a little longer before deciding the ridership isn’t meeting expectations.

Arapahoe County Commissioner Bill Holen along with Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan both said the city and county have spent a significant amount of money to make the R Line possible.

“My suggestion is, talk to your partners before you make something public,” Hogan said. “Don’t just make it public.”

Hogan added that he was disappointed in the process and that there was little communication between RTD and Aurora city leaders.

Aurora Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Hougen blasted RTD saying the chamber’s “trust had been violated” in the wake of the proposal.

A decision on the proposal will be made by RTD directors on Oct. 24. Residents can email comments to: [email protected]