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Bus Rapid Transit Moves Forward on East Colfax Avenue

Mobility improvements identified for one of Denver’s busiest transit corridors

The City and County of Denver, in partnership with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and in coordination with the City of Aurora, continues to refine a package of mobility improvements for transit, pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles on East Colfax Avenue between I-25 and I-225.

The Colfax Corridor Connections study has developed an updated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) design concept based on community input and project goals. Over the coming months, the study is sharing its findings and gathering feedback on the recommendations for improving multimodal travel, accessibility and connectivity in the corridor.

The East Colfax corridor is one of Denver’s busiest transportation networks for all modes of transportation, especially transit. The bus routes serving East Colfax have the highest ridership of all RTD routes – serving more than 22,000 riders per weekday. Current bus service in the corridor is at capacity, at times forcing passengers to be left at stops to wait for the next bus. 

Map Colfax Corridor study area between Auraria Campus and Interstate 225

Congestion in the East Colfax corridor is only projected to increase. Over the next 20 years, the corridor is expected to experience:

  • 25% growth in people traveling the corridor (person-trips)
  • 67% employment growth
  • 25% population growth

To keep pace with rapid population and employment growth, the City and RTD are committed to finding long-term multimodal mobility solutions. Denver cannot continue to grow and create people-friendly spaces without more efficiently moving people through corridors like East Colfax.

Responding to community and agency input, Colfax Corridor Connections has identified an updated alternative for dedicated center-running BRT on Colfax Avenue between Broadway and Yosemite. In 2035, analysis of this updated design shows:

  • Significant shift from vehicles to transit – due to improved travel times, reliability and convenience of BRT service
  • Bus ridership more than doubles – from 22,000 up to 50,000 daily riders
  • Significant transit travel time improvements – up to 15 minutes faster
  • Minor vehicle travel time increases – just a few minutes slower with the project than without in 2035

Rendering of Colfax intersection with center lane bus stop and amenities

As the project moves forward, both local and federal funding opportunities for BRT on Colfax are being identified. The Denver bond package expected to be on the 2017 November ballot includes $55 million for additional design and initial implementation. Local funding, like that identified in the 2017 bond measure, may allow the City to unlock significant federal funding opportunities. Based on the local and federal funding identified, a more detailed design for Bus Rapid Transit on Colfax and project implementation schedule will be developed in 2018. Initial targets anticipate construction could begin by 2020.

More information about BRT on Colfax Avenue is available at www.ColfaxCorridorConnections.com.