KUSA – A day after the Regional Transportation District received a waiver extension to continue operating and testing the University of Colorado A Line, RTD’s general manager addressed what he called “misinformation” and “miscommunication” involving the commuter rail line.
Dave Genova spoke during RTD’s quarterly update Thursday morning at RTD headquarters. He talked about lingering timing issues involving at-grade rail crossings along the A Line.
When asked how effectively RTD had communicated the problems to the public, Genova suggested inaccurate media coverage had negatively impacted RTD’s messaging.
“I’ve read in black and white, the grade crossings aren’t working,” Genova said. “They are working. It’s just the timing of those crossings that we’re working on the adjustments.”
RTD’s assistant director of communications, Scott Reed, told 9NEWS there was no question about the safety of the crossing gates.
“They’re actually working a little too well,” Reed said. “From a train perspective, [the gates] come down a little bit too early and stay down a little bit too late, so there’s no safety issue, but that can impede the auto traffic that needs to cross those major intersections.”
Dave Genova said engineers were working on changes to software, hardware and circuitry along the A-line to improve the timing of the crossing gates.
“The software adjustments are very complex,” he said. “The hardware involves anything from physical timers out in the system to changing out certain types of circuitry and boxes.”
RTD must fix the timing of the gates before the A Line can be certified by the Federal Railroad Administration.
Since the A Line debuted on April 22 2016, it’s been operating under a temporary waiver issued by the FRA.
This past November, the FRA granted RTD a 90-day waiver extension to continue operating while engineers worked to fix the crossing gates. On Wednesday, RTD received another extension of the waiver through April 30, 2017.
The timing issues with crossing gates has also delayed the testing and opening of the G Line, an 11-mile commuter rail line from Denver to Wheat Ridge.
“We have been told that we need to get the crossing gate timing issues addressed before [the FRA] will allow us to go into full testing on the G Line,” said Scott Reed.
While commuters wait on the G Line, the $36 million Olde Town Transit Hub Garage opened in Arvada Wednesday. The parking structure will have 400 spaces designated for future G Line commuters and another 200 for Olde Town visitors.