Impact of RTD A Line going out of service takes a toll emotionally and financially on riders

Posted at 11:25 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 01:25:33-04

DENVER -- For a second day in a row, the train to plane caused headaches for travelers looking to get to Denver International Airport.  

The University of Colorado A Line was down because of a power issue in the same stretch as Wednesday's power problem, between 61st Avenue and Pena Boulevard and Denver International Airport.

The impact of the train shutting down has a ripple effect on passengers, businesses and bottom lines.

"If they don't have it working, why don't they just admit it and say, 'You know what, we're going to put it on hold for another couple months and get all the kinks worked out,' that way no one's depending on it," said real estate broker Holly Jaros. "We've waited this long, we can wait another couple months, but gambling on it is just not working out for anybody."

Jaros was not on the train Thursday, but one of her clients who travels to Denver often was stuck.

"I started to come get him and then they stopped him and said, 'No, it's starting to work now,' so he got on the train. Big mistake," said Jaros. "It went about half a mile and then stopped."

She said he finally made it downtown after about an hour-and-a-half. She drove him around to meetings that were suddenly condensed because of lost time.

"His mood is not very good," said Jaros.

It's also the second time he's been delayed because of the train.

She relayed a story of a previous trip where she dropped him off at Union Station to pick up the A Line.

"I called him the next morning to talk about work and he said, 'I'm going through security at DIA because the train took an hour and 45 minutes to get the airport last night, and I missed my flight,'" Jaros said. "He had to get a hotel room, that's not cheap, and his wife was not happy, she's at home with a newborn baby."

"Who pays for that?" asked Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"He does," Jaros said.

"Should he?" asked Zelinger.

"No," she laughed.

Denver7 asked RTD if there is a process to request reimbursement for the cost of missing a flight.

RTD Spokesman Scott Reed said in an email:

"Just like taxicab companies, limo services, Super Shuttle or your next door neighbor, RTD cannot guarantee travel times."

Jaros said she acted as a chauffeur instead of calling an Uber or taxi because her client does a lot of business with her.

"Tonight, I am taking him to the airport. I'm a non-paid Uber driver," said Jaros.

The fallout of the A Line power issues also impacted Jaros' night.

"Did you have plans tonight?" asked Zelinger.

"Yeah, I did. And I had to cancel them. I was going to go to Dry Dock Brewery for a beer tasting that was special invitation only," said Jaros.

"Does RTD owe you a beer night now?" asked Zelinger.

"Yes, they need to call Dry Dock and schedule another beer tasting," said Jaros.

RTD does offer free ride coupons for bus and train rides delayed more than 30 minutes, if the delay is not caused by weather or traffic. Click on this link to fill out a "free ride coupon" form.

If you're from out of state, you can request a refund.


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