Mass Transit

Mass Transit on the Fast Track

Thinking big to develop a growing region


Mass transit on the fast track

The Regional Transportation District (RTD), funded by a one percent sales tax, provides mass transit services in Metro Denver. With the FasTracks multimodal transit system moving forward, Metro Denver is quickly transforming growing suburbs into teeming cityscapes.

RTD's $7.4 billion FasTracks project is building out Metro Denver's entire mass transit system, adding 122 miles of rail rapid transit as well as extending existing routes and expanding the regional bus network. FasTracks was projected to create more than 10,000 jobs during the height of construction, and has pumped billions of dollars into the regional economy.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD), Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and area municipalities are coordinating transit-oriented development (TOD) plans throughout the region. Projects integrating job, housing, and cultural centers are taking shape in both urban and suburban areas – on infill sites and on vacant land.

  • Overall, up to 50 transit-oriented developments are planned along eight different light rail and commuter rail lines extending in all directions from the downtown core
  • Downtown's historic Denver Union Station is the central hub of the new regional transit system. It was completely revitalized in 2014 as a transit-oriented development, exactly 100 days after the building first opened in 1914.The station fulfilled its original role as the "Grand Central Station" of Denver - the city's major ground transportation hub. AMTRAK and Light Rail arrive at an 8-track terminal behind the station, while express and local buses use a 22-bay underground complex. In addition, RTD offers two free buses from Union Station, the 16th Street Free MallRide that travels the length of the 16th Street Mall and the RTD Free Metroride the provides free weekday service between Union Station and Civic Center Station, providing further connection to bus, light rail and commuter rail.

Metro Denver is serviced by 12 light rail lines servicing 78 total rail stations, as well as the Flatiron Flyer with bus rapid transit service between Denver and Boulder. 

  • The University of Colorado A Line, opened in April 2016, carries passengers from downtown Denver to DEN in 37 minutes.
  • Also known as the Northwest Rail Line, the B Line opened its first segment in 2016, operating from Union Station passing through north Denver to Westminster. Eventually, the line will extend to though Boulder to downtown Longmont.
  • The C Line, also operating from Union Station in downtown Denver, travels south to Littleton. Voters approved an extension for the C Line to extend an additional 2.5 miles south. Construction has yet to begin on the extension.
  • The E Line travels along the Southwest Corridor. Originally opened in 2009, transporting riders from downtown to Lone Tree. The E Line was extended south by 2.3 miles in 2016.
  • The F Line o The G Line opened in 2019 through northwest Denver, Adams County and Arvada with the end-of-line stop in Wheat Ridge.
  • The H Line connects Denver to Aurora, and was extended in 2017 to connect with the R Line. o The L Line extension will eventually connect the existing downtown rail service to the University of Colorado A Line and act as a loop around downtown.
  • The 13-mile N Line opened in 2020 and transports passengers from Union Station to Thornton in 29 minutes.
  • The R Line opened in 2017 and carries passengers from Denver through Aurora to Lone Tree.
  • The W Line was the first light rail line completed under the FasTracks program and connects Denver, Lakewood and Golden.

To promote the use of mass transit, Metro Denver employers can purchase EcoPasses for their employees, which allow seven-day access to RTD services. RTD's FlexPass Program also offers employers and employees payroll tax savings, pre-tax savings, and transit pass discounts.