Traveling from Denver to Boulder, Ways to Get Around

Whether you’re commuting from Denver to Boulder, or going for a fun afternoon activity, there are multiple ways to get there. From riding the bus, riding your bike, or taking a carshare ride, you can travel along US 36 more sustainably!

Riding Your Bike Along the US 36 Bikeway

If you want to op-out of taking your car, another great option is a longer bike ride! Cycling to work is one of the most powerful ways to positively impact our region’s traffic congestion and air quality.

It’s never been easier with resources such as the US 36 Bikeway and the Bike Northwest Interactive Map!

Before you hit the road, follow these tips:

  • Map your route – map your route then trace those steps as a pedestrian or in a car.
  • Gear up – Set yourself up for success and enjoy your ride with the proper gear! Head to your local bicycle shop where employees can help you pick the perfect gear.
  • Safety – Learn the proper hand signals and how your helmet should fit before hitting the road.
  • Find a safe place for your bike – Ensure there is a bike rack you can use once you reach the office or be able to store it inside the building.

Combining Bicycling and Public Transit Along US 36

Want to use both your bicycle and public transportation? Bike-n-Ride Shelters at RTD stations can help you achieve your goal!

Bike-n-Ride Shelters provide long-term, secure and weather-protected bicycle storage for commuters making connections to and from local or regional transit routes. The Bike-n-Ride program makes it easy to combine bus trips and bike rides by using the shelter to complete the first or final mile of your commute.

To use a shelter, visit Commuting Solutions’ Bike-n-Ride webpage to apply today!

Along the US 36 corridor, there are multiple Bike-n-Ride Shelters:

  • Broomfield (Westbound US 36 & Broomfield) OPENS 2021
  • Westminster (Eastbound US 36 & Sheridan) OPENS 2021
  • Superior (US 36 & Eastbound McCaslin)
  • Louisville (US 36 & Westbound McCaslin)
  • Hover Street & Highway 119/Diagonal in Longmont
  • 30th Street & Diagonal Hwy, North Boulder
  • 8th & Coffman, downtown Longmont
  • US 36 & Table Mesa Station (near gate C)
  • Downtown Boulder Station – Walnut and 14th Street

Take the Flatiron Flyer

If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the scenery, or get some work done, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has you covered!

RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, the Flatiron Flyer is the first BRT to connect Denver with the northwest metro region’s businesses, federal institutions and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Riders have access to downtown Boulder, downtown Denver, the Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver International Airport and many more connections!

The Flatiron Flyer offers commuters a reliable ride every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes off-peak, Monday through Friday. On the weekends, the Flatiron Flyer offers commuters a reliable ride every 15 minutes during peak hours on Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sunday.

The 2021 Flatiron Flyer fares are:

  • $3 for a local three-hour pass
  • $5.25 for a regional three-hour pass
  • All trip fares can be calculated online with RTD

Flatiron Flyer Routes include:

  • Route FF1 – travels between Union Station and Downtown Boulder station.
  • Route FF3 – Travels from Broomfield to Union Station with stops at US 36 & Church Ranch Station and US 36 & Sheridan Station.
  • Route FF5 – Downtown Boulder Station to Anschutz

Currently, Routes FF2, FF4, FF6 and FF7 are suspended.

Using RTD’s Trip Planner also allows riders to plan their trips and provides real-time updates on the services.

Sharing Your Route

Whether you’re driving your car, being picked up by your co-worker, sitting in a van or using an app to order your ride, there are multiple options to get from home to work.

Carpool allows you to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the northwest metro region! Carpooling not only benefits the environment but benefits you! Sharing a ride saves you time, money and reduces stress.

Resources such as MyWaytoGo.org can help you find registered users who are part of an existing pool or looking for a carpool buddy. More than 10,000 people are currently registered!

Vanpools are the perfect commute option for commuters who travel more than 15 miles to work one-way. Passengers share the ride in a van, which can seat up to 15 people, and pay a monthly fee that covers the cost of fuel, insurance and vehicle maintenance.

Vanpools help reduce the number of vehicles on the road, and allows the riders to ride the US 36 Express Lanes for free!

Resources such as MyWayToGo.org can help you find registered users who are part of a pool or looking for a buddy! My Way to Go Vanpools operate through Commute with Enterprise.

If you’re ordering your ride through a mobile app with Uber or Lyft both allow riders to reduce costs and carbon emissions by sharing a ride with someone going the same direction.

Uber POOL provides riders a carpooling service which helps reduce the cost of travel as well as carbon emissions by sharing a ride.

If you want to use a car, but don’t own one, an option is to use a car-share service!

Colorado Carshare is a local 501(c)(3) car-sharing organization which provides alternatives to individual car ownership.

Incentives to Commuting

Did you know there are incentives to commuting with others? Check out Commuting Solutions’ blog post about commuter benefits, transit benefits!

Resources:

RTD’s fare calculator
RTD’s Flatiron Flyer
FF1 Schedule
FF3 Schedule
FF5 Schedule
US 36 Bikeway
Bike-n-Ride Shelters
Boulder County Bike Map
Denver Bike Map
MyWaytoGo.org
Commute with Enterprise
Innovations in Transportation

Bike Northwest Interactive Map FAQ

What is the Bike Northwest Map?

The Bike Northwest Map allows people to plan out their bike route. Whether you’re riding along the US 36 Bikeway, or through Boulder, the interactive GIS map will allow you to see what type of routes are available!

The map is a collaborative effort with Boulder County, City of Boulder, City of Lafayette, City of Longmont, City of Louisville, City of Westminster, City and County of Broomfield and Town of Superior as well as Way to Go, Esri and Commuting Solutions!

What does the Bike Northwest Interactive Map feature?

By using the Bike Northwest Interactive Map, you can:

  • Use links to other useful bicycle-related content
  • Find what type of bike paths are available in the area
  • Customize the map view to show bike routes, RTD bus station locations, RTD Park-n-Ride locations, RTD bus routes or RTD Call-n-Ride services areas, or all of the above
  • Customize the map by choosing a background including satellite images, topographic and terrain maps, aerial views and more
  • Use tools to measure distances, area and get precise latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates
  • Share specific map views through email, Facebook or Twitter

How do I get started using Bike Northwest Interactive Map?

Whether you’re riding to work, or going for a weekend cruise, the Bike Northwest Interactive Map is easy to use!

You can start by mapping your route with the map, then trace your steps either as a pedestrian or in a car. It’s good practice to know your route before getting started!

Then head over to the map!

Where can I ride to using the Bike Northwest Interactive Map?

With the Bike Northwest Map, the possibilities are endless!

The US 36 Bikeway has 18 miles connecting the US 36 & Table Mesa Station in Boulder to 80th Avenue in Westminster. There are 12-foot-wide paved way to provide bicyclists throughout the northwest metro region.

The bikeway allows riders to connect to home, work and businesses along the corridor.

The bikemap features roads with multi-use paved paths, bike routes (paved shoulders) bike routes, bike lanes, one-way bike lanes, multi-use path soft surfaces, and bike lane contra-flows.

You can search for specific locations within the map, or just scroll through it to find your next route!

Enjoy your ride!

A Guide to Cycling in the Northwest Metro Region

Bike to Work Day is almost here which means its time to shift gears and talk about all the amazing cycling resources available in the northwest metro region. From paved to soft-surface paths, bike share, wayfinding and more, our region is a haven for cyclists (and not just because of our unbeatable views!).

The US 36 Bikeway

The Northwest metro region is home to the US 36 Bikeway and with the backdrop of the Flatirons in Boulder, its easy to see why it’s such a popular bike path. The bikeway stretches from the south end of Boulder at Table Mesa Station to 80th Avenue in Westminster. The 18-miles of paved bike path provide the perfect alternative to being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on US 36. This year alone the US 36 Bikeway has already counted over 100,000 trips.

Bike-n-Ride Shelters

Perfect for our commuters who want to take advantage of a multi-modal bus and bike commute, the Bike-n-Ride shelters located across our region provide a safe place to store bikes at RTD stations. Users must apply for an RFID card online to gain access to the shelter. The shelters provide long-term, secure and weather-protected bicycle storage for commuters making connections to and from local or regional transit routes.

Currently, you can find shelters at the following locations:

  • 8th & Coffman, downtown Longmont
  • Hover Street & Highway 119/Diagonal in Longmont
  • US 36 & Table Mesa Station
  • Downtown Boulder Station – Walnut and 14th Street
  • US 36 & McCaslin Station – Superior (Eastbound side)

Later this summer, we will be working with RTD to construct two new Bike-n-Ride shelters: one at US 36 & Broomfield Station and one at US 36 & Sheridan Station.

Wayfinding

A vital element to making our region easily accessible and navigable to cyclists was the implementation and installation of wayfinding signage along the US 36 corridor. Our local governments worked together to make sure that it was easy for residents and visitors alike to explore our region. In December of 2018, the uniformed branded wayfinding sign were installed along the corridor.

Bike Share

Want to explore our region but aren’t ready to commit to buying a bicycle? Give one of our bike share programs a try! Bike share programs such as Zagster and Boulder BCycle are innovative systems that give users the ability to pick-up a bicycle at any of the self-serve bike stations and return the bike to any of the bike stations in the area.

Zagster is currently operating throughout the city of Longmont, while Boulder B-Cycle operates in the city of Boulder. It’s a great way to get out and explore a new city while getting some exercise!

Bike Northwest Map

Before heading out for a ride, make sure you know where you’re going with our Bike Northwest Map. This map is the result of a collaboration with our local governments in an effort to make a regional bike map that spans from Westminster all the way to Longmont.

The online version of the map comes with layers that you can play with to find your perfect ride. Do you want paved paths or maybe you want to avoid street riding? Just choose the layers that work for your perfect ride and the map will do the rest from there.

Bike to Work Day

In 2018, our region cycled 610,661 miles and saved 265 TONS of CO₂. Help us shatter our record by participating in 2019 Bike to Work Day! There are breakfast stations to stop by throughout the region where you can get a free breakfast and cup of coffee while getting to celebrate all the cyclists in our region. We can’t wait to see you out there!

E-Bikes to Extend Access to US 36 Bikeway and Beyond

 

Electronic bikes (e-bikes) are positively impacting the ability for commuters to cycle to work every day. At the beginning of 2016, Commuting Solutions convened government staff from Boulder, Boulder County, Louisville, Superior, Broomfield and Westminster to encourage local communities to adopt electronic bike ordinances that would enable e-bikes to be used along the US 36 Bikeway and other local cycling facilities. Commuting Solutions supports e-bikes due to the ability to ride further, tackle tougher terrain and increase accessibility to the US 36 Bikeway for all ages and abilities.

The US 36 Bikeway is 18 miles long and connects communities throughout the northwest metro region. Not only does it connect businesses to their employees, but makes cycling to work a safe commute option. E-bikes allow cyclists to travel farther than they normally would and eventually play a leading role in encouraging more commuters to try commuting by e-bike along the US 36 Bikeway, creating another viable commute option.

E-bikes not only help commuters travel further, it also increases a rider’s ability to travel across challenging terrain that would otherwise be too difficult. To put this into perspective, the US 36 Bikeway has a 700-foot elevation gain when riding Davidson Mesa going in and out of Boulder. This can be a challenging climb for an experienced rider and daunting task for a novice cyclist. E-bikes allows cyclists to decide when they want to pedal and when they need an extra power boost.

Expanding city ordinances along the US 36 Bikeway to allow e-bikes would mean increasing access to cycling for all ages and abilities. The northwest metro region is nationally recognized for the progress along the US 36 Corridor and this includes the US 36 Bikeway. The US 36 Bikeway is an incredible treasure for our communities. Commuting Solutions is committed to increasing access to the bikeway so more people can not only enjoy their ride, but connect to our communities along the way.

We are pleased that Louisville city council recently approved an e-bike ordinance and the jurisdictions of Broomfield, Westminster and Boulder County are in the process of doing the same.  In addition, a state bill passed the legislature this session which enables e-bike usage unless a community opposes it.  This is exciting progress for the state and for the cycling industry to make Colorado more accessible for all users.

For more information about the US 36 Bikeway and to view our online map, visit commutingsolutions.org.  The 2017 Bike Northwest print map will be available in June; email us at info@commutingsolutions.org to have a map mailed to you.  Ride on!