By Melissa Garcia
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The newest line on RTD’s light rail system, the R-line, is up and running.
The route runs from Lone tree along I-225 through Aurora, eventually connecting to the A-line to Denver International Airport and to downtown Denver.
The R-line runs 22-miles, connecting northeast Denver with southeast Denver through Aurora.
After years of planning and construction, the line is finally open.
“A lot of people say it would be a cold day in February before Aurora got light rail. Well it’s a cold day in February,” said Steve Hogan, Mayor of Aurora.
Commuters already using the line on its first day of service said it would save them time and money.
“No parking downtown… It’s going to be phenomenal,” said Diane Leininger, an Aurora resident.
“It’s going to be great because we need more ways for people to get around. Especially people that are handicapped,” said Herb Kirk, who has lived in Aurora for 50 years.
“It really kind of completes a great loop,” said Dave Genova, GM and CEO of the Regional Transportation District. “And now, when you want to get to Aurora, you don’t have to sit in traffic on I-25. You can hop on the train: either light rail, or the University of Colorado A-line, and get to Aurora without sitting in traffic.”
Not everyone, however, was on board.
Chanting in the crowd, members of the racial justice group Colorado People’s Alliance said the $2.60 one-way fare is too expensive for Aurora’s low-income neighborhoods.
A spokesperson with the group said that members were calling on RTD to offer an income-based pass that would lower the cost to commute for people with low incomes.