The Northwest Area Mobility Study is a collaborative effort that addressed the significant cost increases and delays associated with building and operating the 41-mile commuter rail line from Denver to Longmont. The study concluded with elected officials, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and 13 area jurisdictions and agencies reaching consensus on transit priorities in the region:
- US 36 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Determine the remaining FasTracks BRT funding/scope for the US 36 corridor and complete
- Priority Arterial BRT Corridors: Conduct advanced planning and design of arterial BRT on Colorado 119, State Highway 7 and State Highway 287. New funding must be identified for these and other arterial BRT corridors.
- US 36 to Denver Reverse Commute: Work with CDOT to evaluate the reverse commute traffic between Denver Union Station and US 36 (e.g. Boulder-bound a.m. travel and Denver-bound p.m. travel). For the I-25 downtown Express Lane, evaluate alternatives to ease reverse commute traffic. As a short-term solution, evaluate the feasibility of bus-on-shoulder operations.
- B Line (formerly known as Northwest Rail): Annually evaluate strategies to accelerate implementation of the B Line while recognizing it is a long-term project. Evaluate the feasibility and cost of constructing the line in segments and the potential for extending the line to Longmont.
- Additional Arterial BRT: Consider implementing additional arterial BRT/enhanced bus corridors (South Boulder Road, 120th Avenue and Colorado 42/95th Street).
RTD is currently working on a number of BRT-related projects, including:
- Proceeding with planning efforts on State Highway 7. Boulder County will begin developing the Planning and Environmental Linkages Study for the segment between US 287 and 75th St., and will also begin collecting data for the BRT feasibility portion of the study.
- Developing a scope of work for State Highway 119 (the highest prioritized BRT corridor).
- Assessing interest of Northwest-area stakeholders in advancing the US 287 corridor forward from Longmont to US 36.
RTD was recently awarded a $1 million Transportation Investment Program (TIP) grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) for a region-wide BRT study (expected to begin mid-2017). The study will provide a high-level analysis of corridors that could benefit from BRT-type capital investments and a prioritized list of candidate corridors for future RTD investments.
Commuting Solutions is working with local and regional partners to identify funding for these and other arterial BRT corridors. State Highways 119 and Highway 7 received TIP funding from DRCOG to proceed with the next level of environmental planning.