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Colorado State CapitolJuly 20, 2014

Colorado State Capitol
July 20, 2014

The public transportation network in the Denver metropolitan region is a robust one, and has ambitious plans for further expansion.  Since 1969, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has been responsible for managing and coordinating the area’s transportation.  Prior to this date, the Denver Tramway operated a network of streetcars dating back to 1886.  However, by 1950, all the streetcar lines had been discontinued and replaced by buses.  The City of Denver purchased the Denver Tramway in 1969 and branded services as the Denver Tramway Company.  After two years, the Denver Tramway Company’s operations were transferred to the RTD.

In 1994, RTD opened its first light rail line, bringing rapid transit back to Denver for the first time since the streetcars had been terminated.  In 2004, RTD announced the FasTracks program, which calls for building a total of six new light rail and commuter rail lines and associated stations, park and ride lots, and other transportation infrastructure.  The first segment of FasTracks opened in 2013 when the West Side Line (W Line) to Golden was completed.  The reconstruction of Denver Union Station as a regional transportation hub was also included in FasTracks; the renovated station reopened in July of 2014.  In addition, the RTD continues to operate an extensive bus network of about 100 routes throughout the region.

RTD Light Rail

The RTD light rail's first segment was 5.3 miles long and opened on Friday, October 7, 1994. The system has since expanded to include 47 miles of track served by a fleet of 170 vehicles. Further extensions are being planned and constructed.

RTD Buses

RTD operates a fleet of about 1,000 buses on nearly 100 routes throughout its service area. This includes the Free MallRide bus on the 16th Street mall that features custom made TransTeq EcoMark electric buses and the newer MetroRide route connecting Union Station with the Civic Center area.