Mobility Study FAQs
Q. WHAT IS THE CENTRAL RAIL EXTENSION MOBILITY STUDY?
A. The Central Rail Extension Mobility Study is a planning and conceptual engineering study designed to identify the most feasible rail transit route and operating plan to provide a direct rail transit ride with no transfers from the future 38th/Blake Station on the East Rail Line into downtown Denver.
As part of FasTracks, the Central Rail Extension will improve access between and among the northeast Denver neighborhoods, the downtown transit network and the full RTD transit system. Extending the Central Rail Line will also provide northeast neighborhoods with more direct access to the East Rail Line, which connects Denver Union Station with Denver International Airport, while also providing East Rail Line passengers with a second rail connection into a different part of downtown Denver.
Q. WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY?
A. This year-long study will create stakeholder and community consensus on the alignment and operating plan for the Central Rail Extension.
The Central Rail Extension is funded through RTD's voter-approved FasTracks Program, but according to RTD's most recent cash flow forecast, FasTracks money for the extension will not be available until well into the future. In partnership with the community, this study will establish the long-term vision for the entire Central Rail Line and identify a near-term implementation plan for the extension from the current Central Rail end of line at 30th/Downing to 38th/Blake in the event funding becomes available sooner than what is currently anticipated.
Q. WHAT ARE THE RESULTS RTD IS LOOKING TO ACHIEVE IN THE STUDY?
A. RTD is committed to a cooperative and collaborative process with the public and stakeholders to establish the range of alternatives to be studied and factors to be addressed. The study's final results must include the capital, operating and maintenance costs of the Central Rail Extension; analyses of social, economic and environmental effects; safety issues; and land use and economic development factors for each alternative. In addition, the study must outline a plan forward to implement the preferred alternative, complete with funding strategies.
Q. WHAT OTHER STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE FOR THE CENTRAL RAIL EXTENSION?
A. In 2010, RTD completed an Environmental Evaluation that identified a preferred alternative for the Central Rail Extension. Following changes to downtown traffic signal timing, RTD conducted additional analysis in 2012 to determine whether there was sufficient operating capacity on the existing downtown light rail tracks to accommodate the Central Rail Extension. Additional studies have also been done by the Five Points Business District and others that identified a need to further evaluate the right transit technology for the Central Rail Line.
Q. WHY IS RTD CONDUCTING ANOTHER STUDY FOR THE CENTRAL RAIL EXTENSION?
A. Critical technical and operational details need to get resolved in order for the Central Rail Extension to get built. In addition, consensus needs to be achieved among RTD, the City and County of Denver and stakeholders on issues that have arisen since the preferred alternative was selected in 2010. Finally, this study is also an opportunity to think long-term with the public about the future of the Central Rail Line and how it can best serve downtown and benefit the surrounding neighborhoods.
Q. WHAT IS THE STUDY AREA?
A. The study area for the Central Rail Extension Mobility Study encompasses downtown Denver and the neighborhoods of Five Points, Whittier, Cole and Elyria Swansea.
Q. HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
A. Public input is an important consideration in making the best decision for the Central Rail Extension. The first thing you should do is add yourself to our project mailing list in order to receive updates and announcements about the project. Input can also be submitted through this website. In addition, you can attend various meetings and events to learn more about the project and engage with the project team.
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