New Route to Commerce City, More Consistent 15 Bus Part of RTD Changes

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.08.20 PM
Image: RTD

A few times a year RTD examines its bus and rail routes and tries to optimize them by doing things like adjusting frequency, adding buses, or changing the route. This fall the transit agency will launch a new bus route, the 62, between Stapleton and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park/Commerce City Civic Center. RTD will also streamline service on the 15 bus and alter the Flatiron Flyer schedules to reflect actual travel times.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes:

The New Route 62

This new bus route (pictured) will connect Central Park Station on the A-Line with the Commerce City Civic Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and points west to Vasquez Boulevard. It will cost $2.60, the standard local fare.

The 62 will run every 30 minutes on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and once an hour on the weekends. That probably works well for commuters — as long as they don’t work past 6 p.m. But the early evening cutoff means there’s still no reliable transit to nighttime events at Dick’s, like Rapids games and concerts.

More Consistent Schedules on the 15

Colfax is Denver’s busiest bus corridor and has frequent service (by RTD standards) on the 15. But during the evening rush, the 15 skips some westbound stops, where the scheduled time between buses can be as long as 15 minutes. At other stops, which don’t get skipped, the time between buses is 7.5 minutes. To reduce the maximum wait time, RTD will have all buses serve all stops during the evening rush toward downtown, which will mean service every 10 minutes across the board, said Jessie Carter, manager of service planning and scheduling with RTD.

A More Accurate Flatiron Flyer Schedule

Since launching in January, the Flatiron Flyer — RTD’s watered-down version of bus rapid transit between Denver, Boulder, and the northern suburbs — has performed better than the services it replaced, and ridership has risen 45 percent. Turns out the travel times on the Flyer are faster than expected, so schedules will change to reflect that, helping passengers plan their days better.

RTD will also add four trips to the FF2 during rush hours — two eastbound in the morning and two westbound in the evening.

RTD’s service changes aren’t always good for everyone. The much-heralded A-Line, for example, threatened to cannibalize bus service that people depended on to meet their daily needs. The agency eventually listened to transit advocates, though, and reinstated direct bus routes.

You can check out the rest of the proposed changes on the RTD’s site. Riders have until next Tuesday to weigh in before the Board of Directors approves these changes.