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Transportation

RTD, Transportation
University of Colorado A Line officially opens
April 22, 2016 at 11:34 am 2

"This is a great day!"

-Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

DIA Train After years of planning and construction, today marked the opening of the University of Colorado A Line. A train pulled up to the train platform at Denver International Airport station at 9:30 a.m. carrying representatives of RTD, The City of Denver, The City of Aurora, and the State of Colorado.  These officials were on hand to cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the University of Colorado A Line for service. A great number of reporters and photographers/videographers were on hand to document the event. As the train pulled up, members of the media jostled and squeezed together on the train platform to capture the ribbon cutting ceremony. There must have been around 50 people trying to capture the event. Below is a photo of the train that carried the officials from Denver's Union Station to Denver International Airport. University of Colorado A Line 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 distance on the line between Denver International Airport and Denver's Union Station is 23 miles. Trains will run every 15 minutes during peak hours with the trip from Union Station and the airport taking 37 minutes. The rail line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the DIA station located at the south end of the main terminal at DIA. A trip on this train will cost $9.00. University of Colorado A Line

“Our vision has always been to build a multimodal system that supports the transit needs of the growing Denver metro area,” said RTD Board Chair, Tom Tobiassen. “The opening of the FasTracks projects helps us bring that dream closer to reality. The University of Colorado A Line is a key factor in connecting communities with transit and allowing people to travel from their homes to anywhere around the world.”

The University of Colorado A Line train platform is located adjacent to The Westin DIA which houses 519 rooms in a 14-story building. The Westin DIA opened in November and was designed by Gensler architecture firm. The design of the hotel is explained in the below statement provided by Gensler:

"The concept of connection is seen throughout, in details such as extending the grid of the Public Transit Center’s netted canopy into the interior ceiling of the Level 6 check-in area. Views from one element of the project into provide travelers with an intuitive sense of where they are in relationship to the Public Transit Center, hotel, plaza and terminal. From the hotel lobby, for example, travelers can watch trains arriving and departing from the train station below."

Here is a photo of the Westin DIA lobby:

Westin DIA

A photo of the Westin DIA as seen from the 82,000 square foot public plaza that is located between the main terminal and the hotel. Escalators are located here which provide access to the train platform below.

Westin DIA

Below are two photos from inside the Westin DIA:

DIA

DIA

“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 General Manager and CEO of RTD, Dave Genova. “We continue to transform the region and the University of Colorado A Line will connect the Denver metro area to the world.”

Below Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and General Manager and CEO of RTD, Dave Genova hold a piece of ribbon from today's ceremony as Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and Senator Michael Bennet stand behind them. University of Colorado A Line

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Transportation
Four Denver B-cycle stations to close
January 11, 2016 at 7:51 pm 1

Denver B-Cycle announced Monday that four stations will be moved due to low usage rates at their current locations.

“These four stations do not have the connectivity with other stations in the system needed to make them viable,” said Denver B-cycle executive director Nick Bohnenkamp. “At the same time, these stations will help us increase service in high-demand areas of the city.”

Denver B-cycle

The four stations will be removed from the University of Denver campus area and Platt Park neighborhood. The locations are at 1901 Buchtel Blvd. S. (near intersection of Buchtel Blvd. and High Street); 2141 E. Evans Ave. (University of Denver, Driscoll Center); 1280 S. Washington St. (near intersection of W. Louisiana Ave. and Pearl Street, at the Light Rail station); and 650 E. Florida Ave. (near intersection of E. Florida Ave. and S. Pearl Street). All four stations have been in the lowest performance tier among the system’s 87 stations.

“When we installed these four stations, we believed there would be more travel between these neighborhoods and the downtown core by shared bike, but that hasn’t been the case,” said Bohnenkamp. “We will look to restore service to these neighborhoods when funding becomes available to expand our geographic footprint, allowing riders to connect more easily with other stations in the immediate area. Our thanks goes out to the neighborhoods and the University of Denver for the support they’ve shown the past six years.”

After these four stations close, the total number of Denver B-cycle stations in operation will be 83. Approximately 700 bicycles are currently in the Denver B-cycle system.

The price of an annual B-cycle pass has increased for first time users from $90 in 2015 to $135 in 2016.

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Transportation
RTD to buy 36 new electric mall shuttles
August 24, 2015 at 8:44 pm 0
Downtown Denver

Current RTD shuttle bus on Denver's 16th Street mall. DUR spring 2015.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors announced it has approved the purchase of 36 electric shuttles. These new vehicles will be used for the 16th Street MallRide in downtown Denver. The 45-foot shuttles are 100 percent electric powered and will have a 12-year lifespan that will equate to $100,000 in savings over that time according to RTD. “The current shuttles have been in operation for over fourteen years and it is time to replace our aging fleet to continue providing high-quality service to our riders,” said RTD Interim General Manager and CEO Dave Genova. “The new shuttles will provide the most advanced and clean-energy technology to help the environment while meeting the unique needs of vehicle operation on the busy 16th Street Mall." The cost of 36 electric vehicles will not exceed $27.1 million and are being manufactured by BYD Motors Inc. in China. Assembly of the shuttles will take place in California. Design feature have been incorporated into the shuttles specifically to meet the needs of the 16th Street MallRide. Wide doors will be incorporated into the vehicles for easy boarding and exit of passengers. Low floors will also be included for a smooth transition on and off the shuttles. This fleet of vehicles will also have air conditioning for Denver's hot summer days.
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RTD, Transportation
RTD secures naming rights deal with CU
August 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm 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.

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Transportation
$233 million light rail extension takes step forward
August 6, 2015 at 1:40 am 0
Downtown Denver RTD Light Rail

RTD light rail. DUR summer 2015.

The planned extension of RTD's Southeast light rail line is now one step closer to becoming a reality. Last week RTD's Board of Directors approved a $140 million two-phased contract awarded to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., to construct the extension in Douglas County. Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2016. "The board's contract award is a strong symbol of how much we value the collaborative and innovative spirit of working with our regional partners," said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. This project will add 2.3 miles of rail to the south along I-25. The extension will conclude at RidgeGate Parkway on the east side of the interstate where a station will be located. 1,300 parking spaces and connecting bus lines will be located at the RidgeGate station. Two additional stations are planned to be added to the extension with one located near the Sky Ridge Medical Center and the other near the planned Lone Tree Center. "This extension will make it possible for RTD to connect people in a rapidly growing part of the metro area to the rest of the region, including Denver International Airport," said Dave Genova, RTD's Interim General Manager. The projected budget is $233.1 for the entire 2.3 mile extension. Of this budget $34 million was spent by the end of 2014 on environmental analysis, preliminary engineering and design, and eight new light rail vehicles. The project is being financed through a combination of federal, local and private funding. The full extension is expected to be completed in early 2019.
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