Low ridership on Aurora light rail's R-Line prompts possible cuts

AURORA, Colo. -- Only six months into existence, the light rail line running through Aurora is struggling and RTD is considering cuts. 

"Currently the ridership along the R-Line is struggling a little bit. It's not what we thought it would be or projected," RTD spokesman Nate Currey said.

According to RTD statistics, the R is the least-ridden light rail line Monday through Thursday, and it's not even close. 

"It’s expensive to run trains when no one rides them, and we have to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars on a regional level," Currey added.

So what's being proposed? The possibility that the R-Line wouldn’t run south of Florida Station during off-peak times or on weekends. That means for over more than half the route, trains would run every 30 minutes instead of every 15, and you’d need transfers to another train or two if you’re coming from or going south. 

"I think it’s totally unfair to us. I mean we're relying on it to get to work," R-Line rider Byron Kennard said. He also works on the weekends--when these service changes would be in effect.

And the city that the R runs through isn't happy about this either. Members of the Aurora City Council sent a letter to RTD voicing their "strong objection" to "premature" cuts in service to the "regional necessity."

RTD now has to bring these proposals to its riders in public meetings. Then the board will vote on them in October. Any changes would start in January. 

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