Denver7 | Traffic

Actions

I took RTD’s light rail to Union Station on live TV to see what delays were like. Here’s what happened

As soon as we got on and got moving, it was clear just how slow the lines were moving.
Posted: 3:48 PM, Jun 13, 2024
Updated: 2024-06-14 08:37:58-04
allie-takes-rtd-light-rail.jpg

DENVER — RTD riders have shared frustrations with Denver7 over delays and slowdowns on the light rail throughout the past week, so I decided to take the light rail for myself – live on television throughout our morning newscast on Denver7 and Local3 – to experience it firsthand.

The journey started at the Lincoln Station in Lone Tree, where the R Line train was more than 30 minutes late around 6 a.m. I loaded the E Line train heading northbound to Union Station – which was scheduled to stop at the Lincoln Station at 5:38 a.m. – at about 6:04 a.m.

Our train was scheduled to arrive at Union Station at 6:30 a.m.

rtd-peoria-station-delay.jpg

As soon as we got on and got moving, it was clear just how slow the lines were moving. RTD trains typically travel at speeds up to 55 mph, but have been traveling as slow as 10 mph due to needed maintenance in recent days. I experienced the latter, as the journey to each stop was a slog and we could feel the delays start to lengthen.

We ended up being so late to some stops that some may have mistaken the ultra-delayed train for an early one. We arrived at the Orchard Station just after 6:30 a.m., more than 40 minutes behind schedule. Anyone who showed up early for the scheduled 6:49 a.m. train may have thought their train was 20 minutes early.
The ride picked up between the Belleview and Southmoor stations, as we made it within about three minutes’ time. But the train once again slowed down after that, and we were more than 50 minutes late for our stop at the Colorado station.

allie-rtd-passenger-interview

One passenger we spoke to had to call his employer from the train to tell them it was running late. He, like us, was headed to Union Station, where we arrived at 7:28 a.m. – 58 minutes behind schedule.

That passenger boarded at Ridgegate Parkway and was scheduled to be 30 minutes early to his 7 a.m. shift. Instead, he was 30 minutes late.
“It’s been a long and frustrating thing today,” he said.

Watch my journey from Lone Tree to Union Station through a series of live morning-news segments in the video player below or at the top of this story: