Bus rapid transit (BRT) and not rail, is moving to the top of RTD’s priority list for the Northwest Corridor. RTD’s Board of Directors adopted the recommendations of the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS), a collaborative effort with northwest area governments and transportation partners to achieve consensus on a set of recommendations to improve mobility in the area. The study was initiated in response to significant cost increases and delays associated with building and operating northwest rail – the 41-mile commuter rail line from Denver to Longmont included in RTD’s FasTracks program, which was approved by the voters in 2004.
The NAMS report acknowledges that rail is a “longer term goal” although it recommends an annual evaluation to accelerate the implementation of rail. However, this recommendation is only included to appease rail advocates given that the cost of rail is prohibitively expensive and appears to be completely unfeasible.
RTD has applied for a federal grant to fund planning studies for the Colorado 119 and U.S. 287 arterial BRT corridors. Results of that application are expected this fall.
Entities that participated in the study along with RTD and CDOT are 36 Commuting Solutions and North Area Transportation Alliance; the cities of Arvada, Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Superior and Westminster; Boulder County; Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and the University of Colorado-Boulder