DENVER (CBS4) – RTD is starting to reconfigure the space on all of their light rail trains in an effort to better accommodate people with disabilities.
The changes have already been made on some of the trains following a settlement deal with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. A total of 16 seats per train are being removed, with eight being taken out at each end.
The redesigned seating provides more boarding spaces for people using wheelchairs, scooters and walkers, and it will result in additional space inside for those people.
The Regional Transportation District reached the settlement with the coalition in August. It calls for the retrofitting of all of the existing trains, and for all new trains to follow suit. The changes will be completed over the next five years.
“I think it’s probably as feasible as it could be. I don’t know what could be done to improve it. It’s functional to me. I’ve seen people struggle getting on and off, but they’re generally people who have over-sized wheelchairs. I have little to no trouble getting on and off,” said RTD commuter Randy Gasper, who is handicapped.
“This time of morning it’s normally crowded. From 7 until about 9 it’s standing room only mostly. To do that it’s going to create somewhat of a problem,” said RTD commuter Lynne Speller.
Officials said they want to make it clear that the additional space created by the removal of seats is not meant for riders’ bikes, strollers, luggage or other large items that are brought aboard.
RTD is holding a public meeting to discuss the changes on Wednesday night. That will take place at 6 p.m. at the History Colorado Center’s Colorado Room.