The University of Colorado A Line drew an estimated 80,000 riders Friday and Saturday, when the Regional Transportation District’s new commuter rail service between Denver’s Union Station and Denver International Airport offered free rides for its debut.
On Friday, hundreds of people gathered for a ceremony where several local, state and national dignitaries cut the ribbon to officially open the 23-mile commuter rail line. The event was immediately followed by free rides on the new line, and thousands of passengers lined up to take the first trips.
The University of Colorado A Line provides accessible and reliable connections between downtown Denver, communities along Interstate 70 and Denver International Airport. The project is part of RTD’s FasTracks program and continues the agency’s record of opening projects on time and on budget. The University of Colorado A Line also is part of the Eagle Public-Private Partnership.
Speakers at the event included Gov. John Hickenlooper; Federal Transportation Authority Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers; Sen. Michael Bennet; Rep. Diana DeGette; Rep. Ed Perlmutter (a CU-Boulder alumnus); Rep., Mike Coffman (a CU-Boulder alumnus); Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (a CU Denver alumnus); Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan; DIA CEO Kim Day; Denver Transit Partners CEO Aaron Epstein; Fluor Corp. CEO David Seaton; RTD Board of Directors First Vice Chair Larry Hoy; and RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova (a CU-Boulder alumnus).
CU entered into a partnership with RTD last year to name the train. RTD is selling naming rights across its FasTracks project for complete lines or for stations. CU campuses and system banded together to purchase the rights to the airport line, which is expected to have the highest ridership of any FasTracks line, an estimated 10 million passengers annually.
This is the second opening in a milestone year for RTD. The Flatiron Flyer bus rapid transit service opened in January, and RTD will celebrate the start of service for the first segment of the B Line in the summer, the G Line in the fall and the R Line in late 2016.
For route and schedule information, please call RTD’s Telephone Information Center at 303-299-6000 or call 303-299-6089 for the speech and hearing impaired. Visit RTD’s website at www.rtd-denver.com.