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RTD, Transportation

RTD secures naming rights deal with CU

August 18, 2015 5
DIA train

Exterior view of the RTD Commuter Rail Car at Denver’s Union Station DUR.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors has approved a naming rights agreement with the University of Colorado. This is the first agreement of this kind in RTD’s history. According to RTD this agreement will cover the commuter rail line from Denver’s Union Station to Denver International Airport. Advertising on the Flatiron Bus Rapid Transit line that runs along US 36 from Union Station to Boulder is also part of the deal.

RTD will receive $5 million over the course of five years in this agreement. The Board of Directors will determine how the $5 million is allocated. The line to DIA will be titled the University of Colorado A Line.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Colorado for this first contract through our corporate partnership program,” said Chuck Sisk, RTD Board Chair. “We believe that branded sponsorship is an emerging marketplace with many valuable opportunities for the local and national business communities.”

RTD estimates that the rail line to the DIA will have an annual ridership of 10 million which includes locals and out of town riders. The line to DIA is slated to open in 2016. Trains will run every 15 minutes at peak hours and will travel at a top speed of 79 mph.

“The University of Colorado is excited to partner with RTD on this initiative that brings together the state’s leading public higher education institution with the crown jewel of the largest and newest public transportation project in the United States,” CU President Bruce D. Benson said. “CU is kicking off a major marketing initiative next month and the University of Colorado A Line and Flatiron Flyer will be important parts of the effort.”

RTD is also currently seeking other advertising and sponsorship opportunities through its corporate partnership program.

There are 5 comments

  • Freddie says:

    This name will do nothing but confuse people – especially if they’re from out of town. “This line looks like goes to some college, but which line goes the airport?”

    This is an absolutely stupid idea and I really hope it fails. We are really lucky that a university bought the naming rights and not some corporation – this time. The Gold Line could end up being called the Diet Coke Line. And when are they going to change Civic Center Park to Doritos Park? When are they going to change Colorado Blvd to T-Mobile Boulevard? When will DIA become Facebook International Airport? Public transportation infrastructure should be off limits to this sort of thing. It can erode local culture and it’s just plain tacky. I really hate this idea.

    • Alan W says:

      I agree with Freddie to some extent. Although I am glad to see CU “partnering” with RTD it will undoubtedly be confusing to non-locals and even some locals. They’ll see “University of Colorado – A Line” and assume it will take them directly to the University of Colorado Boulder or Denver. I’ve been riding the bus system for years and know for a fact that many people, especially out of towners, don’t look too much beyond what a bus/train is named. Buses and trains can be very confusing as is. They will see university on the train and they think “Oh, great! It will take me to the university”. Since RTD likely won’t say no thanks to the $$ how about clearly making it the “A-Line sponsored by the University of Colorado” rather than the University of Colorado A-Line considering the A Line will have absolutely nothing to do with taking someone directly to or from one of the campuses. Not as smooth sounding but far less confusing. Hopefully someone thought about this or is reading this because there’s still time to fix the likely problem.

    • Ryan says:

      I completely agree with Freddie. This is terrible.

  • Justin says:

    Good thoughtful comments from you all above. Is this the first domino to fall? I will keep an ear out and will be sure to report if I get information on other sponsorships/naming rights deals with RTD.

    CU President Bruce D. Benson said. “CU is kicking off a major marketing initiative next month and the University of Colorado A Line and Flatiron Flyer will be important parts of the effort.”

  • DR says:

    I agree with the comments that the name is stupid and confusing. Plus where does CU get off spending that kind of money on naming rights when college education costs keep going up. The person at CU who made this decision does not have the interest of students and faculty in mind. He/she should be fired. And how on earth did the Univ Board allow this?

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