ARVADA, Colo. — It seemed like a no-brainer when Mandy Putnam and her husband were looking for a place to live in the metro area.
Her husband works downtown. Mandy teaches in Golden. They moved to an apartment near Olde Town Arvada within easy walking distance of the G Line.
“We moved in December, and we were told that it would be here soon. And now it’s July, and it’s still not working,” Putnam said.
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The G Line, which travels from Union Station to Wheat Ridge and Arvada, was originally slated to open in fall of 2016.
Nearly two years later, that train still isn’t testing and RTD hasn’t announced a new opening date.
But better news could be on the horizon, after recent rulings from the state’s Public Utilities Commission. That regulator recently ruled that RTD and Denver Transit Partners could remove flaggers at grade crossings along the A Line, which runs from Union Station to the airport. The A Line and G Line are both commuter rail lines that use the same crossing technology.
RTD told Next the Federal Railroad Administration had been monitoring the state’s rulings.
So what’s next for the G Line? RTD says it needs approval from the FRA to begin its official testing process. Once that testing is approved, RTD and its transit partner will begin a 21 day fully operational test.
“You want to discover what might not be operating properly during the testing phase,” Scott Reed, Assistant General Manager of Communication for RTD told Next Wednesday. He said the line must operate its full schedule without a major problem during that testing phase before RTD decides to officially open the train to passengers.
“That is a pretty high barrier as well but that is what we require ensure we are ready to go,” Reed said. “We definitely plan to have the G Line in operation and open for service before the end of the year.”
If it does open before the end of 2018, it would end a long and painful process for many stakeholders.
“I’m mad as hell and I don’t want to take it anymore,” joked Arvada Mayor Marc Williams. He said he’s been fielding constant questions at the grocery store.
“Of course, that’s the difference between local government and the federal government,” he said. “People get to come to me at the grocery store.”
And Williams said lately he’s been encouraging people to contact the Federal Government to see if they will speed up the process.
“I think that RTD and Denver Transit Partners are feeling like they can’t push too hard against the FRA well I want to push against the FRA and I want our citizens to push against the FRA,” he said.
Meanwhile, Putnam said she and her husband have considered moving somewhere else. They hope the train opens before the end of their lease.
“I feel like we should get money back from our rent that’s why we decided to move here and they kind of marketed it that way…if you want to use a train live here,” she said.