GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– RTD wrapped up a series of public meetings Thursday evening in an effort to gather input on proposed changes to several of its light rail lines.
The final meeting was held at the Golden Community Center where RTD officials listened to concerns from the public and city council members over proposed cutbacks to the W Line, which runs from Golden to Union Station.
RTD says ridership on the W Line drops off by more than half between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as well as after 6 p.m. on weekdays. To save roughly $470,000 a year, RTD suggests reducing service between the Jefferson County Government Center and Federal Center. Instead of running every 15 minutes, the trains would run every half hour during those off-peak times and all day on the weekends.
“For low income families, that’s unacceptable,” Victoria Sosa, a W Line rider, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Sosa was on board the W Line with her husband and three children for the first time Thursday afternoon. She told CBS4 this was the first time they could afford it.
“We actually had to get assistance just to get on this line and we barely even got assistance,” she said.
The family of five walked 10 miles to Golden so the parents could ride into Denver in search of new jobs. They were disappointed to hear of RTD’s proposal, saying it shouldn’t be a question of how many people use the line, it is about how many can afford it.
“Make it more affordable, you will have more people on the line,” Sosa said.
Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan attended the meeting and urged RTD to give the city one year to increase ridership.
“Reducing service will only lead to less ridership when the Golden city government is trying to encourage ridership,” Sloan said.
The RTD board will vote on the proposed changes to the W Line and more in October and approved changes will go into effect in January 2018.
For a look at all RTD is proposing to change, visit www.rtd-denver.com.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.