2020 Proposed RTD Service Cuts

Aurora is facing potentially significant cuts to transit service with the latest proposal from RTD to address its shortage of bus and light rail transit operators. While the city of Aurora supports equitable, temporary RTD service reductions, we oppose any service cuts for the R Line and bus routes 153 and 157.


RTD’s initial proposed reductions would impact transit service in Aurora starting in May 2020, as follows: 

  • R Line rail service every day frequency reduced to 30 minutes, from 15 minutes  
  • H Line rail service weekend frequency reduced to 30 minutes, from 15 minutes 
  • Bus route 157 (Community College Aurora/Buckley Air Force Base) discontinued 
  • Bus route 139 (Quincy) removal of four early morning trips 
  • Bus routes 130 (Yale/Buckley) and 153 (Chambers Road) every day frequency reduced to 30 minutes, from 15 minutes

RTD recently suggested revising their initial proposed reductions to avoid cuts to bus routes 153 and 157 and the H Line. But the R Line's 15-minute frequency is still threatened. Nothing is final until the RTD board of directors makes its decision March 24. 

Information on the RTD's entire service reduction plan is available on RTD's website.

No other light rail line is being targeted for such drastic cuts in service. Reductions to the R Line represent 90% of the "systemwide" light rail service cuts proposed by RTD. No reductions are proposed for the A, B, E, F, G, L and W lines and the C Line would actually receive more frequent weekend service. Because the R Line’s Southeast Extension from Lincoln to RidgeGate stations was built with federal funds, the train will continue to run every five minutes south of Aurora, but slow to every 30 minutes in Aurora with this plan.  

Cuts to bus routes 153 and 157 will negatively impact the Community College of Aurora, Buckley Air Force Base, Hinkley, Gateway and Smoky Hill high schools, and the city’s other transit-dependent residents. 

The city of Aurora is asking the RTD Board of Directors to not support or approve any service reductions for the R Line and bus routes 153 and 157 and meet with the city of Aurora to come up with a better plan that is equitable for our community.


If you want your voice to be heard, we ask you to:

Consider sending an email or fax to the RTD board chair and directors representing Aurora to express your opposition to limiting transit options for Aurora 

If you choose to send an email, feel free to use any or all of the following draft letter: 

Dear RTD Board Director, 

As an Aurora resident and a taxpayer, I am writing to voice my strong disappointment and objection to the proposed service reductions for Aurora, especially the R Line and bus routes 153 and 157. 

In the metro area, Aurora is the second-largest taxpayer population funding RTD but is facing some of the deepest cuts of any municipality in RTD’s service area. 

The R Line is our train, and this is our connection to the region and everyone else’s connection to Aurora. It offers easy access to the airport. It connects us to jobs at places like the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Aurora Municipal Campus, Town Center at Aurora, the Denver Tech Center, Meridian, RidgeGate, 24-7 Intouch and Kaiser Permanente. It gives us access to healthcare at the Rocky Mountain VA Regional Medical Center and the Anschutz campus, the Medical Center of Aurora and Sky Ridge Medical Center. It provides those of us who crave a lifestyle less dependent on a car with transit-oriented development where they can to live and enjoy life. But if the train doesn’t run frequently, why would anyone want to make the choice to ride it or live near it? 

I am just as deeply concerned with the cuts proposed for bus routes 153 and 157. This is how many of our students, military personnel and neighbors get to school and work. 

For many people, transit is a choice—one that can improve congestion in the region, reduce road maintenance needs and improve our air quality—but one that is just as easy to discard. For others, like our most vulnerable neighbors, there is no choice but to live with a decision that is beyond their control. 

I strongly urge the RTD Board of Directors to not support or approve any service reductions for the R Line and bus routes 153 and 157 and meet with the city of Aurora to come up with a better plan that is equitable for our community and the region. You can do better. 

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