‘A Line’ Problems Prompt RTD To Dock Contractors

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – The “train to the plane” has sometimes been a pain. The greatly anticipated Regional Transportation District commuter rail A Line has suffered numerous service disruptions since it began April 22.

According to documents provided by RTD to CBS4, the contractors consortium was docked tens of thousands of dollars during the first three months.

Denver Transit Partners was to be paid $10,768,236, but was docked $65,279. Figures for July are expected soon.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

RTD Assistant General Manager Scott Reed says the deductions were for not meeting standards.

“It’s a relatively small amount, but keep in mind the margins are very tight on this,” Reed said.

The documents show the very first day the train for the media was late. Train for dignitaries was also late.

Later came an unforgettable scene of passengers having to be escorted along a bridge after lightning caused an outage. But some regular commuters caught in that incident are getting over it. One woman who was among those trapped in that incident told CBS4, “It was terrible, but other than that they fixed it, but other than that it has been great.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

There were other power-related issues and also repeated problems with the doors and the signaling system.

The money being docked from contractors represents a small percentage of payment, but Reed insists it is significant.

“Is there a message that goes with this figure?” CBS 4’s Rick Sallinger asked Reed.

“I think it’s that RTD is very serious; that we expect a certain level of performance,” he replied.

Reed noted that only 2 percent of delays have been of 15 minutes or more. The one-time service for the A Line is at 88 percent.

The line’s naming rights were purchased by the University of Colorado. A spokesman for the university says it is still pleased with its investment in those rights.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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