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RTD asks riders to choose between unreliable service or cuts

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Posted at 7:38 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 21:55:36-05

DENVER — The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is asking passengers to comment on a proposal to cut bus and light rail service.

Last month, the agency proposed cutting routes as a solution to their growing driver retention problems. But the board wanted public input.

On Monday, they released a video and survey for the public and drivers to weigh in.

“We want to hear from our employees as well, especially the operators that are faced with mandating and having to work six days a week every week,” Pauletta Tonilas with RTD said.

The survey asks riders if they would like service to stay as it is, with frequent trips being canceled and on-time reliability varying. Or, cut service for greater on-time reliability.

“Both options are not ideal,” rider Patrick Witterschein said. “They need to keep the reliability but also maintain service they are providing because people rely on it.”

The survey doesn't include details like how many routes or schedules would be affected.

RTD says they are down 80 bus drivers and 60 light rail operators. Drivers are quitting because of mandatory overtime and six-day work weeks.

They hope by cutting service temporarily they can reduce the amount of mandatory overtime and eventually get back up to full staff.

“This is not a situation we want to be in, but it is a reality,” Tonilas said.

People can take the survey until November 17. There will be a telephone town hall Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

The results of the survey will be presented to the board next month.