Remember the last time that you got a waiver exempting you from federal regulations? Yeah, we don’t either. But that’s what the RTD is getting to help the beleaguered A-Train and B-Train. At issue is whether the RTD could operate the two rail lines, which have been plagued by issues related to the timing of crossing gates. The five-year waiver was granted by the Federal Railroad Administration, according to the Denver Post.
Unfortunately, the state regulators granted no such waiver or change to the timing of the lights. Here’s what state regulators said:
“On Wednesday, state regulators denied RTD’s request to change the timing of crossing gates on several of the metro area’s commuter rail lines. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission, in a unanimous decision, concluded that the district’s latest at-grade crossing plan did not enhance safety for those driving or biking over tracks.”
Can you imagine what would happen if you called the IRS and said, “I can’t figure out how to do my taxes (a totally plausible thing, by the way), can I have a five-year extension?” The IRS would laugh.
Or, what would happen if you told city building inspectors that you couldn’t really figure out how to safely install lights, so you’d like to keep things as is, and you’d get back to them in five years and hopefully you’d figure it out. They’d say, “You must be joking.”
So, if citizens don’t get waivers to get their acts together, why should the RTD with the millions and billions the department has blown?