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University of Colorado to operate free shuttle from R Line Station

With construction of the R Line basically finished, many people at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are looking forward to taking the light rail service to work or school.

They were pleased to hear that the university is planning to provide a free shuttle that will pick up riders at Fitzsimons Station and bring them to the Anschutz campus.

The FasTracks I-225 Rail Line was originally designed to run along Montview Boulevard through the campus. However, due to concerns with electromagnetic interference and vibrationfrom the light rail train affecting sensitive research equipment used in the facilities, RTD realigned the route to travel along Fitzsimons Boulevard instead.

In exchange, the university plans to offer a free shuttle service from Fitzsimons Station that will provide transportation to the campus.

Fitzsimons Station
Fitzsimons Station on the R Line on Fitzsimons Boulevard in Aurora

RTD Project Manager Chuck Culig said the agreement with the University of Colorado is a good one, especially considering the challenges some riders would face getting the last mile to, or from, the Fitzsimons light rail station. "Anytime we can encourage ridership on public transportation, we want to do that. With access to light rail, anyone on campus will be able to connect to the entire metropolitan region."

The shuttle will begin service when the light rail line opens as the new R Line in winter 2016.

Buses will operate seven days per week between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. It will have stops at these locations:
  • East 17th Place
  • East 17th Avenue
  • Montview Boulevard
Shuttles will be timed to meet the light rail trains at Fitzsimons Station. The average route time is less than fifteen minutes.

Free shuttle stop
Free shuttle stop on Anschutz Medical Campus

The 22-mile long R Line, which provides a link from Peoria Station on the north end of the line to Lincoln Station on the south, will bring light rail through the heart of Aurora.

The line will connect riders to major activity centers like the Aurora Metro Center, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Children's Hospital, and the new Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital.

Below is the proposed schedule for the University of Colorado shuttle.
  • Monday-Friday: Two buses running 5:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday: A third bus possibly added during peak times 7:00-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: One bus in service 5:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
The 18-passenger shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and are equipped to carry bicycles.

The shuttle is a free public transportation service. No identification is necessary. Anyone can get on and off at any of the stops along the route.

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