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RTD announces end to shuttle services along segment of R Line amid ongoing repairs

In late September, R Line train derailed at Aurora intersection
RTD announces end to shuttle services along segment of R-Line amid ongoing repairs
Posted at 8:24 PM, Oct 24, 2022

DENVER — Navigating public transit is never easy, but the aftermath of a train derailment — on top of staffing shortages — have made it even more challenging for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and its commuters.

Citing staffing issues, the public transportation agency announced Monday shuttle buses will no longer be available for R Line commuters between RTD's Florida and 13th Ave. stations, beginning Oct. 30.

Ever since an R Line train derailed last month, shuttle buses have been supplementing portions of the route impacted by the incident.

RTD said it's working to expedite repairs on its R Line, but a date for the resumption of regular service has yet to be determined. The agency is encouraging commuters to use RTD's Trip Plannerto view route options.

Disruptions to the R Line's service were particularly challenging for one Coloradan, who shared their experience with Denver7.

"I'm someone who's pretty train savvy. I love trains. I love looking at maps, too," Shane Jenkins said. "It shouldn't take an expert to be able to navigate around cancellations and unexpected changes. So I'd say for one, just have simple signage."

On Oct. 16, Jenkins said he planned to use RTD transit to travel from Denver International Airport to RTD's Lincoln Station — he anticipated the trip would take about an hour and a half.

"When I got to the station of the airport, I thought, compared to a $120 Uber ride, I'll just take the $10 light rail," he said. "It ended up being nearly three hours of trying to get back home."

Jenkins was unaware of the September derailment incident and its subsequent impacts, resulting in his extemporaneous navigation of the supplementary shuttle system.

"We had to just find out from strangers that there was a bus we had to take. [RTD] didn't tell us why the R Line train had stopped," he said.

Eventually, Jenkins was able to make it home, thanks to several detours and the help of a stranger.

"My phone died, and I think if that stranger who was really friendly hadn't been there, it would have been a five hour walk home for me from where I got stranded," he said.

On Monday, RTD confirmed to Denver7 signage was being placed at its stations to alert travelers of the upcoming ways to navigate the R Line.