RTD launches B Line train that one day will reach Boulder, Longmont

Karen Antonacci, The Daily Camera

July 25, 2016

The Regional Transportation District opened its new B Line in Westminster on Monday morning with plenty of talk about how the new commuter rail line is the first part of a train that eventually will extend through Boulder to Longmont.

Westminster-area residents rode the commuter rail lines between Westminster and Denver after the opening, marveling at the train, which takes between 11 and 13 minutes to make the journey one-way.

The B Line costs $2.60 for a one-way local fare, but the train is free Monday and Saturday.

The line, along with the G Line that runs between Union Station and Arvada, cost $867 million and was funded through district, private and federal dollars.

‘First step’

The B Line is a start to the Northwest rail corridor, a commuter rail line that was part of RTD’s FasTracks plan voters approved in 2004. FasTracks is funded by a .4 percent sales tax within the transportation district. After voters approved the tax and plan, RTD ran into problems negotiating with Burlington North Santa Fe Railway for operating windows on the BNSF tracks.

Stymied by BNSF negotiations and the Great Recession — which caused revenues to dip and freight lines to become more valuable — RTD released a document that said there would likely not be funding for the Northwest rail line until beyond 2040.

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