Denver Transit Partners, the Regional Transportation District's contractor that built and operates the A, B and G lines, has requested that its legal battle with the transit agency go to trial next summer.
The private company sued RTD last fall, seeking $80 million in damages over ongoing delays and withheld payments by the agency. RTD countersued, alleging its contractor is trying to "retroactively shift blame."
In a court filing this week, Denver Transit Partners' legal team asked for a four-week trial in spring or early summer of 2020. That request could be a signal that a settlement between the parties isn't likely.
“Our filing is the next step in that procedure, which is a strictly commercial matter between the parties," Denver Transit Partners executive project director John Thompson said in a statement.
An RTD spokeswoman declined to comment. Any trial would be a bench trial, because both parties waived the right to a jury trial in their 200-plus page contract.
Despite the legal challenges, trains continue to roll. The A Line has an on-time rate of 97 percent and had carried more than 17 million riders since it opened in April 2016, exceeding initial projections. And the long-delayed G Line to Arvada is inching closer to opening.
The two sides are still maintaining a public relationship. Executives from both organizations spoke at a press conference earlier this month. But RTD said last month that it will operate its next commuter rail line, the N Line to Thornton, on its own.
"The more I deal with Denver Transit Partners on the existing system, and the lack of responsiveness going forward, I believe that RTD would have a better product," Henry Stopplecamp, assistant general manager of capital programs for RTD, told the agency’s board members in January.
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