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Denver Awarded $1.3 million for Colfax Corridor Connections

Federal Pilot Program will Fund Planning for Bus Rapid Transit along East Colfax

DENVER – The City and County of Denver, in partnership with the Regional Transportation District (RTD), has been awarded a $1.35 million grant to improve service to riders along the Colfax Corridor, helping to revitalize Denver’s Main Street with next generation transit infrastructure.

The grant is part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) planning, which is geared to improve public transportation for America’s communities by providing funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning. The funds will directly go towards planning the Colfax Corridor Connections Bus Rapid Transit project. The addition of Bus Rapid Transit to Colfax would allow for an estimated doubling of the current daily ridership along the corridor. 

“Accessible mobility choices, like bus rapid transit, can help each and every one of us live better, easier lives. These funds will play a major role in delivering next generation transit for our people.” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “By improving our residents’ connections to economic opportunities and vibrant neighborhoods, the Colfax corridor can better support the needs of local commuters, residents and business.”

“As the Denver Metro area continues to grow, smarter, long-term transit-oriented development will play a critical role in easing traffic and connecting Coloradans to school, work, and all of amenities the city has to offer,” said Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. “Denver already has one of the best transit systems in the country, and we are thrilled that the city will receive additional resources to improve the Colfax corridor.  This grant will help the city and its partners continue building an accessible and efficient system that will strengthen local economies and increase mobility for families.”

The Colfax Corridor, stretching from Auraria Campus to Aurora along Colfax Avenue, is primed for TOD planning initiatives that will improve economic development and promote increased transit ridership by linking the neighborhoods along the route; creating an enhanced multimodal system; and encouraging consistent development near stations in a way that preserves the character of neighborhoods while accommodating the population growth expected in Denver and along the Colfax corridor over the next 20 years.

“The $1.35 million grant will enable Denver and RTD to improve service to riders by studying transit oriented development,” said Congresswoman Diana DeGette. “The region has experienced tremendous growth while also making worthwhile investments in transit.  With this grant, RTD and Denver can do even more to help businesses, residents and stakeholders identify next steps to improve economic development and promote increased transit ridership.”

“One of RTD’s busiest transit routes runs through the Colfax Corridor and it is the ideal location for fostering a connection between public transit and the community,” said RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova.  “We are excited to partner with the City of Denver to look at the best ways to improve transit in that area and make it easier for people to live, work and play with connections to public transportation.”

Planning elements associated with the grant will involve significant public and stakeholder outreach to build consensus and prepare the city, stakeholders, surrounding neighborhoods and potential development partners for the Colfax BRT project’s implementation and the accompanying revitalization that is envisioned for the corridor. The planning tasks that the grant will pay for include: 

  • Local Plan Unification, Infrastructure Project Prioritization, Project Gap Analysis and Conceptual Streetscape Design;
  • Displacement Risk Assessment and Affordable Housing Preservation and Development Opportunity Analysis;
  • Displacement Risk Assessment and Small Business Development Strategy; and a
  • Comprehensive Financial Plan, including Innovative Funding Analysis, Financing Strategies for Affordable Housing and Small Businesses, and TOD Related Infrastructure.

The planning process will aim to result in concrete strategies and associated implementation tactics to accommodate existing residents. It will also prioritize infrastructure that promotes pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to the corridor, transit ridership and reduced auto use.

The Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps support the FTA’s mission of improving public transportation for America’s communities by providing funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning.