The Regional Transportation District sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and the agency is confident that it is not merely a commuter-rail train coming its way.
After a year of struggles, RTD has told federal regulators that the biggest issues that have plagued the A Line since its opening appear to be fixed. It also is moving to open the G Line to Arvada as well as new stops on the B Line.
“We feel like we are at the point where we can get it operating as designed,” RTD spokesman Nate Currey said of recent work on the airport line. “It is a big milestone.”
Problems with the timing of road crossing gates on the line have forced the line’s operator, Denver Transit Partners to deploy around-the-clock crews with flags to watch the street-level crossings. The gates go down too early and stay down too long to meet regulations, according to RTD. (For more on the A Line’s first year, check out Megan’s stats.)
RTD and DTP believe they have resolved all the issues identified by a third-party firm, Currey said. The next step is for state and federal regulators to complete their inspections of the line. Currey would not estimate how long that might take.
“That’ll be up to them,” he said, referring to federal regulators.
Seeing a potential resolution to its biggest headache, RTD also is moving ahead to open the G Line to Arvada. Contrary to popular belief, the G Line is not plagued by the same problems as the A Line, but RTD still agreed not to open it while the A Line had problems, according to Currey.
So, RTD last week requested permission to begin testing on the G Line. Again, not clear when it will start, but Colorado Public Radio previously reported that the actual testing process takes at least 45 days. The line already is built, with its stations standing roped off and empty.
In the meantime, RTD is running buses from Olde Town Arvada to downtown Denver.
One other major development:
RTD now has permission to open two new stations on the B Line, which currently runs directly from downtown Denver to Westminster. Stops at 41st and Fox and Pecos Junction Station should open in the near future, Currey said.
Correction: This story was updated to correct a station location and the funding source for the flaggers.