|Locale||Denver Metro Area, Colorado|
|Transit type||Bus, light rail, and commuter rail|
|Number of stations||138|
|Daily ridership||339,300 weekday boardings (2015)|
|Chief executive||Dave Genova|
|Headquarters||1600 Blake Street|
Denver, CO 80202
|Operator(s)||Regional Transportation District|
The Regional Transportation District, more commonly referred to as RTD, is the regional authority operating public transit services in eight out of the twelve counties in the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area in Colorado. It operates over a 2,340-square-mile (6,100 km2) area, serving 2.87 million people. RTD was organized in 1969 and is governed by a 15-member, publicly elected Board of Directors. Directors are elected to a four-year term and represent a specific district of about 180,000 constituents.
RTD currently operates a bus and rail system that has a service area of 2,337 square miles (6,050 km2). It employed 2,734 people and reported 103 million boardings in 2016. It had a $466.7 million operating budget for the year of 2015. Google has RTD schedules attached to its trip planner, and 3rd party mobile applications are now available for the iPhone and other platforms.
RTD is constructing the voter-approved FasTracks transit expansion that will add 122 miles (196 km) of new commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles (29 km) of rapid transit bus service, 21,000 new parking spaces at rail and bus stations, and enhance bus service across the eight-county district.
In the 1960s the principal provider of public transportation was the Denver Tramway Company, which served the City and County of Denver as well as older portions of Arvada, Aurora, Englewood, Golden, Lakewood, Westminster, and Wheat Ridge and smaller suburbs. In 1969 the 47th session of the Colorado General Assembly created the RTD to provide public transportation to five additional counties in the metropolitan area.
This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2008)
Gillig and Orion buses make up most of the fleet. In 2014, RTD began to receive New Flyer low floor buses for the free MetroRide and other routes.MCI and Neoplan vehicles are used as express buses and regional buses, including service to Denver International Airport branded as SkyRide. In 2016, RTD began receiving delivery of 36 all-electric buses from BYD Auto to be used on the 16th Street Mall.
Siemens SD-100 and SD-160 are used as light rail vehicles. As of May 2015 , the RTD light rail fleet had 172 light rail vehicles, serving 48 miles (77 km) of track and 46 stations. For RTD's new commuter rail system, it uses Silverliner V's.
RTD's Current Rail Fleet for Light Rail & Commuter Rail:
|Model||Year Began Service||Used For|
|Siemens SD-100 Cars||1994-2000||Light Rail|
|Siemens SD-160 Cars||2006-2014||Light Rail|
|Silverliner V Cars||2016-Present||Commuter Rail|
The current RTD fare structure is based on a zone system for rail and a service level system for bus. Local/Limited bus routes or a 1-2 zone trip on rail costs $2.60, Regional routes or traveling 3 zones on rail costs $4.50, and travel on bus or rail to Denver International Airport costs $9. Seniors, students, people with disabilities, and Medicare recipients are eligible for reduced fares. Children age 5 years or younger may ride free when accompanied by an adult with proper fare; this offer is limited to three such children per adult passenger. RTD also offers a local Day Pass ($5.20) and a Regional/Airport Day Pass ($9) which allows unlimited travel at the chosen fare level for the entire day.
The current fare system was introduced in January 2016 in preparation for the completion of 4 FasTracks rail lines in 2016. The new simplified fare structure included the removal of the Express fare level, pared down the rail fare zones from 4 to 3, and consolidated the tiered SkyRide fares into a single Airport Fare. A new day pass option was also introduced, allowing riders to take multiple trips at twice the cost of a one-way ticket. However, the base fare one-way fare was increased by 15% to $2.60, attracting criticism for disproportionately affecting low-income residents.
A fare card program is being implemented, and will include the MyRide Stored Value card as well and the unlimited EcoPass and CollegePass cards. The card, in development for over four years by Xerox, is currently only available through employers as the EcoPass and colleges as the CollegePass, and through a limited public pilot program of the stored value MyRide card. Users of the MyRide card receive a discount on fares compared to normal prices.
In 2006/2007, RTD worked with the city of Boulder, the University of Colorado, and real-time bus-tracking outfit NextBus on a GPS-based system to help riders with bus arrival information at selected high-traffic stops, but the experiment proved to be unreliable and was discontinued. Several years later, RTD started making its bus location and route data available to third-party developers. Google Maps (website and mobile apps) started offering real-time bus information, as did various other mobile app developers with free or paid apps, such as the Transit app. In March 2017, RTD rolled out a new web-based tracking system, optimized for mobile devices, called Next Ride to track buses and light rail, predict arrivals, show nearby stops and routes.
This project added HOV lanes to I-25 north of downtown Denver. It also added several dedicated slip ramps for RTD buses to access several Park-n-Ride stations directly from the highway. At the south end of the HOV lanes, buses had direct routes into Union Station or Market Street Station. The HOV lanes extended from I-25 to US 36, allowing regional and express routes running along US 36 to downtown Denver to bypass congestion around the Turnpike Tangle. This project was completed in September 1994.
In 2006, the Downtown Express was renovated to include a toll lane, thereby converting the HOV lanes into high-occupancy toll lanes. This allows single-occupancy vehicles to pay a toll to use them. It was built to increase the overall usage and efficiency of the highway's HOV lanes. The project was completed on June 2, 2006.
The Central Corridor, a 5.3-mile (8.5 km) light rail line, opened in October 1994. It was built along Welton Street, through the Five Points district along Stout Street and California Street, and following a railroad right-of-way from Colfax Avenue down to the intersection of I-25 and Broadway. This line was built without the aid of tax increases or federal funds; however, extensions have been funded by the Federal Transit Administration and new tax measures. This line was built from 30th/Downing as the northern terminus to I-25/Broadway as the southern terminus.
After the success of the Central Corridor, the Southwest Corridor light rail route opened in July 2000. An 8.7-mile (14.0 km) light rail line, the route runs from the terminus of the Central Corridor at I-25 & Broadway to Mineral Avenue in Littleton with five existing stations. The line has been popular, and the Park-n-Ride lots at its stations often experience parking shortages. This project built a light rail line from I-25/Broadway south to Littleton/Mineral alongside existing freight tracks used by BNSF next to Santa Fe Drive.
In April 2002, the Central Platte Valley (CPV) spur opened. It is a 1.8-mile (2.9 km) branch with four stations that provides light rail access to numerous venues, including the Auraria Campus, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Pepsi Center, Elitch Gardens, Union Station and Coors Field. This project built light rail lines from 10th/Osage to Union Station.
In November 1999, Denver area voters approved a project, known as the T-REX, which involved reconstruction of I-25 between Broadway and Lincoln Avenue in Lone Tree, and I-225 between I-25 and Parker Road in Aurora, with widening of the road to five lanes and light rail being built. The highway project was completed on August 22, 2006. The light rail line, known as the Southeast Corridor, opened shortly after 11 a.m. on November 17, 2006. The line covers 19.1 miles (30.7 km) and includes thirteen new stations, with parking available at all but the Louisiana/Pearl station.
The West Rail Line opened on April 26, 2013. It was the first completed rail line of the RTD FasTracks Project. The 12.1 miles (19.5 km) of light rail run between Denver Union Station and Jefferson County Government/Golden Station, adding 11 new stations, 6 park-n-rides, and 3 new call-n-rides.
FasTracks is a major project underway to expand the Denver metro area's light rail and bus service and to add commuter rail service. A 2004 referendum approved tax increases to support FasTracks. As of July 2017, completed sections include the W Line to Golden (formerly West Line, light rail, opened 2013), the US 36 Bus Rapid Transit lanes and service to Boulder (Flatiron Flyer, 2016), the redevelopment of Union Station and surrounding area as a transportation hub and transit-oriented development (2014), the free MetroRide downtown circulator (bus, 2014), a segment of the B Line to Westminster (formerly Northwest Line, commuter rail, 2016), the University of Colorado A Line to Denver International Airport (formerly East Line, commuter rail, 2016), and the R Line from Peoria Station in Aurora to Lone Tree Station (formerly I-225 Line, light rail, 2016). Final testing is underway for the G Line to Arvada (formerly Gold Line, commuter rail, opening 2019). Under construction are the E Line, G Line, and R Line extensions (Southeast Extension, light rail, opening 2019), and the first segment of the N Line (formerly North Metro Line, commuter rail, projected opening 2020, final stations projected opening in 2042). Scheduled completion dates for remaining segments extend as far ahead as 2044.