An original proposal from the RTD would have cut services on the R Line, which runs through Aurora, during off-peak times during the week and all together on weekends. RTD board member Bob Broom was among four to vote no on the package of service changes across several transit routes in the Denver metro area.
“I was tempted to vote yes, but I wanted to make the point it’s just not enough time that’s passed to make any changes at all,” Broom said.
The R Line has been running less than a year, a point Mayor Steve Hogan said warranted allowing some more time to build up ridership on the underperforming line. According to RTD, the R Line averages 41 boardings per hour. The 10 percent minimum for rail is 67.1 boardings per hour, per RTD policy.
“The process going to start up again in two months or less because we do this three times each year,” Broom said. “This fight’s going to rear its ugly head again in the distant future.”
The next service changes are expected to come up in May.
Broom said he believes RTD should give new lines at least two years before making service changes.
At a public meeting after the initial service change recommendations, Hogan stated his disappointment in the lack of communication between the city and RTD officials.
“My suggestion is, talk to your partners before you make something public,” Hogan said. “Don’t just make it public.”
Moving forward it’s not settled yet whether the city or RTD would take on more marketing efforts.
“The city is suggesting RTD needs to step up its marketing game for the R Line, the (RTD) chairman is saying the city should be doing this. That’s not going to accomplish anything,” Broom said. “It’s going to take some effort from both entities.”
Broom said he hopes new development along the R Line will also increase ridership in the near future.
The R Line’s weekend service reduction to every 30 minutes will go into effect January 14.