Denver’s Regional Transportation District said it has received official notice from the project concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners, that the University of Colorado A Line commuter rail service from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport will be ready for service on April 22, 2016.
The RTD University of Colorado A Line takes its name as a result of the first sponsorship through RTD’s naming rights program. The University of Colorado A Line is a commuter rail line using new rail cars that are the first of their kind in Denver. They are faster than light rail, with a top speed of 79 mph versus 55 mph. They are larger 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 rail line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the new Denver Airport Station located at the south terminal of DIA, serving airport travelers and guests of the new Westin Denver International Airport Hotel.
The line is 23 miles of new electric commuter rail, part of the Eagle P3 project, the nation’s first full public-private partnership for transit. Local RTD taxes combined with a $1.03 billion federal grant and $450 million from Denver Transit Partners, the 34-year concessionaire that will build, operate and maintain the trains, make up funding for the $2.2 billion project.
“This project has been made possible through regional collaboration. None of this could have happened without the cooperation and teamwork from our partners who have worked tirelessly to deliver a quality project that will take public transit in the Denver metro area to the next level,” said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. “We are also very proud of our naming rights partnership with the University of Colorado.”
“The start of RTD’s commuter rail service to DIA is a game changer for the airport,” said Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport. “This will put us on par with the world’s leading airports, as many of our international passengers are used to access to the world’s great cities via rail.”