April 21, 2016
Today, Metro Denver celebrates the opening of the University of Colorado A Line, a 23-mile commuter rail line connecting downtown Denver and other portions of the region to Denver International Airport (DEN).
The University of Colorado A Line project is part of the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) FasTracks program – the nation’s largest transit expansion program – aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation throughout the metro area. The A Line, named through a $5 million, five-year sponsorship deal with the University of Colorado, runs between Denver Union Station and DEN with seven stations along its route. RTD expects an average of 24,000 people will use the A Line train on weekdays in 2016, and is set to open three additional rail lines this year.. In late 2016, the R Line will open, extending light rail from the current Nine Mile station along I-225 and connecting to the University of Colorado A Line at Peoria.
The University of Colorado A Line is a game changer in a critically important economic marketplace. Metro Denver has consistently ranked among the top regions for business in recent years, ranking No. 1 on Forbes’Best Places for Business and Careers last year, No. 1 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live, and in the top-10 markets in the Americas for commercial real estate investment in 2016.
More than 100,000 out-of-state residents moved to the metro area from 2010 through 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That is the fifth-largest influx of domestic migrants in the country, surpassing cities such as Seattle and Washington, D.C. Some 3,200 new firms have opened their doors in Denver during the past four years, according to city estimates, contributing to more than 165,000 new jobs in the broader metro area and helping drive the unemployment rate down to just 3.1 percent in February of this year, among the lowest for big metros in the nation.
As the fifth-busiest airport in the U.S. with nonstop service to more than 170 destinations across the globe, national and international travelers will for the first time have the option of taking public transportation from the airport to the heart of Metro Denver. And as DEN continues to set records for passenger traffic, a commuter rail connecting the airport to the rest of the Metro Denver market will bring ongoing growth and opportunity for the region and will continue to raise our competitive edge in the global marketplace.
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