Denver's west light rail service begins April 26
By Carol Carpenter
The much-anticipated 12.1-mile west rail line that will serve Denver, Lakewood, Golden and Jefferson County will open Friday, April 26, 2013.
The grand opening ceremony will be held on April 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m., at the Jefferson County Government Center’s Golden Station. There will be free rides on the line following the ceremony, starting about noon.
The west line is the first completed rail line of the RTD FasTracks project. The line adds 11 new stations: Union Station, Decatur, Federal, Perry, Sheridan, Lamar, Lakewood-Wadsworth, Garrison, Oak, Federal Center , Red Rocks, and the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden. It also adds six park-n-rides and three new call-n-rides.
On Saturday, April 27, there will be free rides on all Denver-area light rail lines and station parties from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all 11 west rail stations.
Work began on the project in 2006 and provides connections to downtown Denver, Auraria Campus, Sports Authority Field, the Denver Federal Center and Red Rocks Community College, among others.
The new line includes a 1,000-space parking structure at West 14th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard that includes sustainable features such as low-water-use landscaping, bicycle parking, provisions for future solar panels and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.
The Sheridan garage, with 800 spaces, has the same features as Lakewood-Wadsworth. Every station has bike racks or lockers (except Garrison and Lamar due to lack of space). Also, a bike path has been constructed along the west line for easy bicycle use.
Katie Angell, RTD FasTrack’s west rail line public information specialist, said RTD recognizes the importance of improving quality of life while demonstrating stewardship of the natural environment and local resource.
“We aggressively pursue new technologies and innovative ideas to reduce emissions, conserve resources, address environmental issues, and improve the air quality of the metropolitan area,” Angell said. “Traveling the new west rail line is an easy, fast way of commuting and will reduce the number of cars on the road, thereby reducing emissions and the use of fossil fuels.”