Public Transportation

FasTracks 2012: An Inside Look by RTD (Regional Transportation District of Denver)


With gas prices on a continuous rise and the increase of traffic congestion the need for finding alternative transportation methods are becoming a major issue for residents in the metro Denver area. Light rail and commuter rail appears to be the future of mass transit in the Denver metro area. Light rail lines have already been completed into the southern part of the metro area serving Denver, Sheridan, Englewood, and Littleton (Southwest Rail Line). With the completion of T-REX in 2006 the light rail now serves Aurora, Denver Tech Center, Greenwood Village, Centennial and Lone Tree as well as serving commuters on the eastern transportation corridor of I-225 (Southeast Rail Line). The West Rail Line that opened in 2013 now serves Golden, Lakewood and Edgewater {see the progress map here}.

Currently, the East Rail Line, the Gold Line and the Northwest Rail Lines are in under contraction, with 2016 slated openings. Once completed in 2016, the East Rail Line will connect from downtown Denver to DIA (Denver International Airport). The line will roughly follow 1-70 out of the city and will serve commuters from east Denver. The Gold Line will serve Wheat Ridge and Arvada; while the Northwest Rail Line will serve Westminster {see the progress map here}.

FasTracks is a major initiative to expand the light rail service with 6 new rapid transit corridors throughout the Denver area including Denver International Airport, Arvada, and Boulder. FasTracks will add to the current 3 corridors as well as improve Denver Union Station to make it a transportation hub for regional commuters. The Light Rail system in the metro area is pleasant to ride and allows riders an opportunity to be productive during their commute times {see the progress map here}.


The east rail slated completion is 2016

East Rail Line


At the end of November 2013, RTD’s board approved a $343 million contract to build the FasTracks North Metro rail line slated to open in January of 2018. Construction will begin in early spring of 2014.

North rail line


The first ride on the West Rail Line will be on April 26, 2013!!!

RTD West Rail Line


Construction of the FasTracks rail line along Interstate 225, between Parker Road and Smith Road near Interstate 70, broke ground on March 1,2013.  According to the Denver Business Journal, the I-225 rail line is a 10½-mile light-rail extension that will travel through Aurora, with stops at the Anschutz Medical Campus and the new Veterans Administration hospital that’s under construction. The line, part of RTD’s FasTracks program, will link the existing Southeast Light Rail Line at the Nine Mile Station with the planned East Rail Line at the Peoria Station, and will include eight stations.


On August 26th, 2011 RTD FasTracks broke ground on the new commuter rail that will eventually link passengers from downtown Denver to DIA (Denver International Airport) by 2015. The East Corridor will take commuters from Union Station along I-70 and up to DIA. Many are hopeful that it will reduce travel times to and from DIA, reduce traffic along I-70 while reducing our carbon footprint on Denver.




The Regional Transportation District is a public agency, created in 1969 by the Colorado General Assembly.

RTD’s bus and light rail transportation system serves all or parts of eight counties: Denver, Broomfield, Boulder, Jefferson, western Adams and Arapahoe counties, northern Douglas County, and small areas of Weld County.

Service Statistics*:

  • Service Area population: 2.7 million
  • Cities and towns served: 40 municipalities in 6 counties plus 2 city/county jurisdictions
  • Square Miles in service area: 2,348
  • Active bus stops: 9,698
  • Park-n-Ride facilities: 74 with 26,530 parking spaces
  • Total number of regular fixed routes: 148
    • Local: 62
    • Express: 16
    • Regional: 16
    • Limited: 11
    • SkyRide: 5
    • Boulder City Local: 13
    • Longmont City Local: 4
    • Misc: 9 (Mall Shuttle, Light Rail (C, D, E, F, & H Lines), Art Shuttle, Pathways E and Pathways W)
        1. Light Rail 
          • Total vehicles: 172
          • Miles of track: 35
          • Stations: 36

For more information about FasTracks or RTD visit: or