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RTD Backs Off on Planned Cuts to Longmont to Denver Bus Routes

September 27, 2018

A Regional Transportation District bus going to Denver's Union Station stops at the Eighth Avenue and Coffman Street in this 2016 file photo. A pair of regional routes between Longmont and downtown Denver have been spared from the chopping block, but an RTD spokeswoman warned that the routes are funded by grants and might be eliminated in the future.

A pair of Regional Transportation District but routes that ferry residents between Longmont and downtown Denver are safe.

For now.

RTD planned cuts to the LD bus routes beginning in January citing low ridership.

RTD representative Nataly Handlos told about 50 people at the Longmont Public Library on Wednesday that the plan to change the routes was pulled on Wednesday afternoon.

Handlos cautioned, however, that those routes run on grant money, which is set to run out, so changes to the routes are likely to happen next year regardless of the temporary reversal by RTD.

Many of the people who spoke at the public hearing on Wednesday were students who attend college in Denver and say that changes to the bus routes might double the amount of time it takes them to get to class. Many also were mad at what they feel is an unfair lack of service in Boulder County in spite of residents paying the same taxes as people living in Denver.

Currently, the LD1 and LD2 buses carry riders from local stops along Main Street in Longmont, southward on U.S. 287 to stops at the Lafayette Park-n- Ride and others along the way to the intersection with U.S. 36. The bus stops at the U.S. 36 stops, then heads southeast to meet up with Interstate 25 south to Denver Union Station. There is limited Saturday service and no Sunday service.

The routes, should they be scaled back, would mean buses would no longer go all the way to Denver and riders would have to wait in Broomfield to catch a Flatiron Flyer, a route that goes between Boulder and Denver.

Longmont City Councilwoman Polly Christensen, who signed up to speak at the meeting, said a statewide comprehensive transportation district is needed in Colorado instead of different transportation districts.

“We could work together and we would have something from Wyoming to New Mexico and Utah to Nebraska and Kansas. That’s what we need and it can’t be based on the ridership,” she said.

John Bear: 303-473-1355, bearj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme

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