RTD Bus & Rail

Last updated
RTD
RTD No. 4018 A Line train, USTH.jpg
Denver LRVs in snow, on Stout St in downtown.jpg
Free MallRide bus 2018--2.JPG
RTD's three modes of public transit
Overview
Owner Regional Transportation District
Locale Denver Metropolitan Area
Transit type Bus
Commuter rail
Light rail
Number of lines127 (Bus)
4 (Commuter rail)
8 (Light rail)
Number of stations57 (Light Rail)

21 (Commuter Rail)

10 (Bus Rapid Transit [BRT])
Daily ridership209,100 (Bus) [1]
86,900 (Rail) [1]
Headquarters1660 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202
Website RTD Denver
Operation
Began operation1969 (Bus)
1994 (Light rail)
2016 (Commuter rail)
Reporting marks RTDC, RTDZ
Number of vehicles1026 (Bus)
267 (Rail)
Technical
System length113.1 mi (182.0 km) (light & commuter rail)
(60.1 miles of light rail)
(53 miles of commuter rail)
Track gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead lines, 25 kV AC 60 Hz (commuter rail) [2]
Overhead lines, 750 V DC (light rail)
System map

Denver RTD Rail Map.png

Light rail at 16th and California in downtown Denver light rail train at 16th-California station.jpg
Light rail at 16th and California in downtown
16th Street Mall shuttle bus Free MallRide bus 2018.JPG
16th Street Mall shuttle bus

RTD Bus and Rail (branded as TheRide) is a transit system in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area. Operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD), it currently runs 86 local, 23 regional, 14 limited, and 3 skyRide bus routes plus some special services. It also includes 8 light rail lines and an additional 4 commuter rail lines with 78 stations and 113.1 miles (182.0 km) of track. [3]

Contents

History

RTD Rail
System diagram
  G  
Wheat Ridge/Ward
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon KHSTa.svg
Arvada Ridge
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon HST.svg
Olde Town Arvada
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon HST.svg
60th & Sheridan/Arvada Gold Strike
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon KHSTa.svg
Eastlake/124th
  N  
Clear Creek/Federal
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon HST.svg
Northglenn/112th
  B  
Westminster
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon ABZg+l.svg
BSicon KHSTeq.svg
BSicon HST.svg
Thornton Crossroads/104th
Pecos Junction
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon STRc2.svg
BSicon HST3.svg
Original Thornton/88th
Commuter Rail
Maintenance Facility
BSicon lBST.svg
BSicon YRD.svg
BSicon STRc2.svg
BSicon HST3+1.svg
BSicon STRc4.svg
Commerce City/72nd
41st & Fox
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon STRc2.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon HST3+1.svg
BSicon STRc4.svg
48th & Brighton/
National Western Center
BSicon kSTRc2.svg
BSicon ABZg+1.svg
BSicon STRc4.svg
BSicon kSTR3+l.svg
BSicon kHST2+r.svg
BSicon kSTRc3.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
38th & Blake
  L  
30th & Downing
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon kABZg+1.svg
BSicon uKHSTa.svg
BSicon kHST+4.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
40th & Colorado
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon ueHST.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Central Park
27th & Welton
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uKINTa-L.svg
BSicon INT-R.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Peoria   R  
25th & Welton
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
40th Ave & Airport Blvd
–Gateway Park
20th & Welton
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon HST.svg
Centro other car parking large.svg
61st & Peña
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon uBS2l.svg
BSicon uSTR2.svg
BSicon uBS2c3.svg
BSicon uSTRc3.svg
BSicon KHSTe.svg
Denver Airport   A   BSicon FLUG.svg
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg   A    B    C    E    G    N    W  
Union Station
BSicon KINTe.svg
BSicon lvINTq.svg
BSicon uKINTa.svg
BSicon ubvvWSLg+lr.svg
BSicon uSTRc1.svg
BSicon uSTR+4.svg
  D    F    H   18th & California
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uBHF(R)f.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)g.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
18th & Stout   D    F    H  
  L   16th & California
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uINT(R)f.svg
BSicon uINT(L)g.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
16th & Stout   L  
Pepsi Center–Elitch Gardens
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon ubvvWSLglr.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Fitzsimons
Empower Field at Mile High
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Theatre District–
Convention Center
Auraria West
BSicon uINT.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Colfax at Auraria
BSicon uvABZg2-.svg
BSicon ucSTRc3.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Colfax
Decatur–Federal
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon ucSTRc1.svg
BSicon uv-ABZg+4.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
13th Avenue
Knox
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
2nd Avenue & Abilene
Perry
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Aurora Metro Center
Sheridan
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uINT.svg
Florida   H  
Lamar
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Centro other car parking large.svg
Iliff
Lakewood–Wadsworth
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uINT.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
10th & Osage
Garrison
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Alameda
Oak
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uINT.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
I-25 & Broadway
Federal Center
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon ubSHI2lr.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Nine Mile
Red Rocks College
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon utSTRa.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Dayton
  W  
Jefferson County
Government Center–Golden
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uKHSTe.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon utHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Louisiana–Pearl
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon utSTRe.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Evans
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
University of Denver
Elati Light Rail
Maintenance Facility
BSicon ulBST.svg
BSicon uYRD.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Colorado
Englewood
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Yale
Oxford–City of Sheridan
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon uINT.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Southmoor
Littleton–Downtown
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon ubvvWSLglr.svg
  C    D  
Littleton–Mineral
BSicon PARKING.svg
BSicon uKHSTe.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Belleview
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Orchard
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Arapahoe at Village Center
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Dry Creek
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
County Line
BSicon uHST.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
Lincoln
BSicon uHST.svg
Sky Ridge Medical Center
BSicon uHST.svg
Lone Tree City Center
BSicon uKHSTe.svg
BSicon PARKING.svg
RidgeGate Parkway
  E    F    R  

RTD parking BSicon PARKING.svg
Centro other car parking large.svg Non-RTD parking

Bus

Bus service in Denver dates back to 1924, when Denver Tramway began the first bus between Englewood and Fort Logan. Buses had completely replaced the previously expansive streetcar system in metro Denver by 1950. However, cars were becoming a larger part of life, and ridership was declining. From 1969 to 1971, Denver Tramway required the sponsorship of the City and County of Denver to continue service. In 1971 with aging equipment, low revenues and lackluster ridership, the Denver Tramway Company transferred all of its assets to city-owned Denver Metro Transit.

In 1969, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) was created in the 47th session of the Colorado General Assembly to provide public transportation to five additional counties in the metropolitan area. It acquired privately owned companies, improved service frequency, and expanded to routes that commercial carriers previously operated such as airport buses. [4]

In July 1974, Denver Metro Transit became part of RTD, and under the new banner, ridership began to increase.

Light rail

RTD's first light rail line, a 5.3-mile (8.5 km) section of what is now the D Line and L Line, opened on Friday, October 7, 1994. It operated with free service for that half day and the first weekend, with revenue service starting on October 10. [5] It was estimated that more than 200,000 passengers rode the new system during its two-and-a-half-day opening weekend, when the fleet comprised only 11 Siemens SD-100 rail cars. [5]

Since that time, several additional light rail lines have been opened. An 8.7-mile (14.0 km) southwest extension to Mineral Avenue in Littleton opened in July 2000, and the 1.8-mile Platte Valley extension to Denver Union Station opened in April 2002. An additional 19-mile (31 km) Southeast Corridor extension along I-25 to Lone Tree and a branch along I-225 to Parker Road were completed in November 2006 as part of Denver's T-REX project.

As of April 2013, the system had 170 light rail vehicles, serving 47 miles (76 km) of track. [3]

Commuter rail

With the passage of FasTracks, RTD began planning for a series of commuter rail lines. The first 23.5 miles (37.82 km) of which, the A Line servicing Denver International Airport, opened on April 22, 2016.

As one of the first new commuter rail systems in the country planned after enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, positive Train Control (PTC) and vehicle monitoring system technologies are implemented along the system's commuter train lines. After the A Line opened between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport, it experienced a series of issues related to having to adjust the length of unpowered gaps between different overhead power sections, direct lightning strikes, snagging wires, and crossing signals behaving unexpectedly. [6] In response to the crossing issues, Denver Transit Partners, the contractor building and operating the A Line, stationed crossing guards at each place where the A line crosses local streets at grade while it continues to explore software revisions and other fixes to address the underlying issues. [7] The FRA is requiring frequent progress reports, but allowed RTD to open its B Line as originally scheduled on July 25, 2016, [8] because the B Line only has one at-grade crossing along its current route that is not designated to be a quiet zone. [7] However, FRA previously halted testing on the longer G Line to Wheat Ridge – originally scheduled to open in late 2016 – until more progress could be shown resolving the A Line crossing issues. [9] On April 26, 2019, the G Line opened to the public.

Current services

Primary services

The primary RTD services are scheduled bus and rail routes. [10] Most bus routes are divided into Local and Regional service levels. Light rail and commuter rail services are divided in four zones: A, B, C and airport. Local service is travel within two consecutive lettered zones, and regional service is within all three lettered zones. The airport zone applies for bus or rail travel into and out of Denver International Airport.

The current commuter rail lines are:

The current light rail lines are:

With the opening of the Southeast Corridor, many regional bus routes that provided service from the North Metro to Denver Tech Center were replaced by service to Union Station and light rail from Union Station to the Belleview light rail station. Several regional bus routes to and from the South Metro were also eliminated by the openings of the Southeast & Southwest Corridors, replaced by feeder routes to light rail.

Former services

Special services

Special bus services are offered for various purposes. [12] Some of the more popular special services are:

Stations

Littleton-Mineral light rail station Three-car train at Littleton-Mineral stn of RTD light rail, cropped.jpg
Littleton-Mineral light rail station

Bus stations

Major bus stations provide termini for express and regional routes. Many local and limited routes stop near these stations, making transfers between routes relatively easy. Of the three major bus stations in the RTD system, only one—Union Station—is also served directly by light rail trains. None of the three major bus stations is a Park 'n' Ride facility.

Interior of a RTD light rail train. RTDlightrailinterior.JPG
Interior of a RTD light rail train.
Station NameAddress
Civic Center Station1550 Broadway, Denver
Union Station (rail and bus)1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver
Downtown Boulder Station1400 Walnut Street, Boulder

Civic Center Station is connected to Union Station via the Free MallRide and Free MetroRide shuttle services.

Market Street Station (16th and Market Street), a major bus station in the RTD system, was closed permanently on May 11, 2014, after thirty years of continuous use. All bus routes that formerly served Market Street Station were re-routed to the renovated Union Station, four blocks to the northwest.

Rail stations

Many of the Light Rail and Commuter Rail stations have gates for various bus services. As of 2018, there are 55 stations on the eight lines in the RTD Rail system. RTD has adopted specific design standards that are incorporated into its station design, with a specific emphasis on the platform, its transition plaza and the multi-modal access provided at the facility. [18] Platforms are designed to accommodate four or three car Light Rail trains in addition to two car or four car Commuter Rail trains and may be in either a side, island or side center style. [18] The transition plaza is the area where tickets are purchased and passenger services can be found. [18] Additionally, all stations include works of public art as part of RTD's art-n-Transit program. These works include independent works or as pieces incorporated into the canopies, columns, pavers, windscreens, fencing and landscaping present at all stations. [19]

Park-n-Rides

A number of rail stations in the RTD system, as well as a number of bus stops located away from the three major bus stations, are attached to dedicated RTD parking facilities. These are the Park-n-Ride locations. As of 2014, there are more than 70 RTD Park-n-Ride facilities with an aggregate total of more than 30,000 parking spaces. [20]

Future services

Extensions to the Southwest Light Rail Corridor, the L Light Rail Line, and the B and N Commuter Rail lines are planned via the FasTracks project. [21]

Art on the light rail system

In 1977, Colorado passed the Art in Public Places bill which required that 1 percent of all state-funded construction budgets be used to purchase art. [22] About $1 million from the T-REX contingency budget was dedicated to art projects at each of the 13 new southeast corridor light rail stations as part of RTD's art-n-Transit program. [19]

Design team artists who worked on windscreen benches, railings, bike racks and canopy columns at all stations were Susan Cooper and Rafe Ropek.[ citation needed ]

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References

  1. 1 2 "APTA Transit Ridership Report" (PDF). APTA. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  2. "Commuter train testing begins on G Line". RTD FasTracks. Regional Transportation District of Denver. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. 1 2 "RTD - Facts and Figures". RTD. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  4. Gutfreund, Owen (2004). Twentieth century sprawl : highways and the reshaping of the American Landscape . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780195141412.
  5. 1 2 Pacific RailNews , January 1995, p. 68. Pentrex. ISSN 8750-8486.
  6. "What's Causing Delays With RTD's A Line To DIA?" . Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  7. 1 2 "RTD gets 90-day extension from feds to fix airport-train crossing gates" . Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  8. "B Line to Westminster opens July 25" . Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  9. "RTD G-Line to Arvada, Wheat Ridge will be delayed — again" . Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  10. Routes Archived 2007-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "RTD - I-225 Rail Line". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  12. Special Rides Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  13. call-n-Ride Archived 2006-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  14. access-a-Ride
  15. "Denver RTD to purchase 36 new BYD electric buses for mall service". Metro Magazine. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  16. skyRide
  17. BroncosRide Archived 2006-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  18. 1 2 3 "Station design criteria" (PDF). RTD Design Guidelines & Criteria, Light Rail Design Criteria. Regional Transportation District. November 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  19. 1 2 "art-n-Transit: A rider's guide to public art on RTD's transit system". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  20. "List of Park-n-Ride locations". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  21. "RTD". www.rtd-denver.com. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  22. Kyle MacMillan (2010-01-28). "Lawmaker working to patch hole in "1 percent for art" statute". Denver Post.