RTD has officially announced the University of Colorado A Line that will provide commuter rail service between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport will begin service on April 22, 2016.
The RTD University of Colorado A Line takes its name as a result of the first sponsorship through RTD’s naming rights program. The line is 23 miles of new electric commuter rail, which is part of the Eagle P3 project, the nation’s first full public-private partnership for transit. Local RTD taxes combined with a $1.03 billion federal grant and $450 million from Denver Transit Partners, the 34-year concessionaire that will build, operate and maintain the trains, make up the $2.2 billion project.
“This project has been made possible through regional collaboration. None of this could have happened without the cooperation and teamwork from our partners who have worked tirelessly to deliver a quality project that will take public transit in the Denver metro area to the next level,” said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. “We are also very proud of our naming rights partnership with the University of Colorado.”
“The opening of the University of Colorado A Line is a historic milestone towards the completion of RTD’s FasTracks program and continues our success rate of opening major infrastructure projects,” said Dave Genova, Interim General Manager and CEO of RTD. “We continue to transform the region and the University of Colorado A Line will connect the Denver metro area to the world.”
“In just a few short months, our entire region will begin to experience the true unbridled potential of connecting FasTracks and Denver International Airport with the opening of the A Line,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The corridor of opportunity between downtown and the airport will connect us to the world, and the world to us, and I couldn’t be more proud or excited to realize the great opportunities that come with it.”
Commuter rail trains will travel up to 79 mph and carry more people than light rail vehicles—200 people at maximum. The vehicles will offer level boarding to better accommodate travelers with luggage and accessibility needs.
The rail line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the new Denver Airport Station located at the south terminal at DIA serving airport travelers and guests of the new Westin Denver International Airport Hotel.
“The start of RTD’s commuter rail service to DIA is a game changer for the airport,” said Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport. “This will put us on par with the world’s leading airports as many of our international passengers are used to access to the world’s great cities via rail. This easy connection to the city center and region will elevate the Denver metro travel experience.