DENVER (CBS4) – RTD will resume some bus and rail service early Tuesday morning. The agency had halted service due to protests and riots in downtown Denver.
RTD officials say for the next three days, the last bus and train out of downtown Denver will leave by 6:30 p.m. Union Station and Civic Center Station will then close.
RTD says the decision to end service out of downtown is meant to help abide by the 9 p.m. curfew in which Denver is under through Thursday night.
While they say there are fewer protests, RTD officials will monitor the situation and may change service again.
RTD’s decision comes after a weekend of downtown service suspension, which left many riders frustrated.
Matthew Bullard was one of them. He said after services were cancelled on Friday night, Bullard waited for a train for two hours, not knowing the service had been cancelled, then tried to get a ride share, but had to wait for another three hours for one to pick him up.
“It was 3 a.m. Saturday when I finally got picked up by an Uber, that honestly threw off my whole weekend,” Bullard said.
One CBS4 viewer wrote, “there are still a few that need public transportation… I had to spend $60 in Uber, because I couldn’t get to and from work.”
CU Denver student Mariana Nogueras says while she understands why some people were frustrated about the cancellations, she also thinks it’s important for the protests to take precedent.
“I think the protests matter more than the small inconvenience to us,” Nogueras said. “Maybe having to pay a little more for an Uber, or having to walk 30 minutes to work, honestly, the inconvenience is nothing compared to the inconvenience, the trauma, the black community faces every day.”
But Bullard saw the cancellations as a way to suppress protestors.
“Feels like it’s a direct attack on the protests, it feels like that and the curfew are aimed precisely at the area and the times when people are trying to peacefully gather, per the constitution, and it feels like there could be a constitutional lawsuit here,” Bullard said.
However, a spokesperson for RTD told CBS4 over the phone Monday the service suspensions were purely in the interest of safety. The spokesperson said that even during the pandemic, RTD still has an average weekday boarding of 110,000 people, down from about 340,000 people before the pandemic began, which means the agency understands the service disruptions do affect a large number of people, and the decision to cut service wasn’t taken lightly.
Riders are urged to check RTD’s website and rider alerts for specific route detour information and updates as they develop.