RTD’s University of Colorado A Line turns 5 today
DENVER (April 22, 2021) – The Regional Transportation District (RTD)’s University of Colorado A Line opened for service five years ago today, providing customers from across the Denver metro region with easy and convenient access to Denver International Airport and points beyond – and becoming a lifeline for so many of the millions who have stepped aboard the agency’s first commuter rail line.
The 23-mile University of Colorado A Line delivers customers between Union Station in downtown Denver and Denver International Airport in 37 minutes. The eight stops along the line connect travelers with homes, businesses, medical care, education, retail businesses, restaurants and services that are key to Denver’s economy. The University of Colorado A Line is part of FasTracks, the 2004 voter-approved transit-expansion program that has transformed transportation in the Denver metro region.
“With every decision, RTD aims to provide our customers with a viable transportation network that is comprehensive and seamless, and the University of Colorado A Line is a notable part of our system,” General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson said. “The addition of this line has broadened the connections our customers can make and led agencies worldwide to ask how we made it all possible.”
By all accounts, the “Train to the Plane” has exceeded expectations. Ridership on the University of Colorado A Line has grown steadily over its five years of operation, with more than 30 million customers having taken the line since opening day. During August 2019, the month with highest ridership, the University of Colorado A Line carried more than 744,000 customers – about 24,000 per day. The electrified trains on the line have collectively traveled close to 17.5 million miles – a distance that encompasses more than 36 trips to the moon and back. Average on-time performance for the line in 2020 and 2021 has been at 98%.
The University of Colorado A Line – and the federally funded public-private partnership of which it is a part – boosted the Denver metro economy for years while it was under construction. Small businesses that worked on the line were able to expand exponentially, and thousands of jobs were created. The project has shown people worldwide that transportation is a key component for revitalization and innovation.
The University of Colorado A Line is operated by RTD concessionaire Denver Transit Partners (DTP), which also manages operation of the B Line to Westminster and the G Line to Adams County, Arvada and Wheat Ridge.