CDOT launches BRT program

Nov. 13, 2023
The BRT program will help to reduce delays and provide efficient transportation for Denver, Colo.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has launched a new bus rapid transit (BRT) program. The department is planning and designing BRT routes to build on sections of Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard and eventually Colfax Avenue east of I-225 in the Denver region. 

BRT work is also underway on CO 119/Diagonal Highway in Boulder County and future rapid transit service is being planned on CO 7/Arapahoe Road between Boulder and Brighton.

“Today’s announcement shows that we are delivering an important part of the CDOT’s Ten Year Plan, and that years of collaboration with our regional partners are setting Colorado up to leverage new sources of federal funding as we expand high quality transit options in the Denver area,” said
CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

CDOT has started environmental study and design work on building a BRT route that would cover 18 miles of Federal Boulevard from 120th Ave. in Westminster to Dartmouth Avenue in south Denver. Federal Boulevard is a heavily traveled Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) route, providing more than 1 million bus rides a year. Destinations include Regis University, Empower Field, multiple neighborhoods, retail districts, churches and community centers.

A multimodal corridor study is underway and planning and design work will begin soon on a BRT route on 6.5 miles of Colorado Boulevard from I-70 to I-25. The corridor study will identify short-term pedestrian and bicycle improvements and build a foundation of community engagement leading into BRT design. Denver RTD currently provides more than 1 million bus rides on Colorado Boulevard. Destinations include City Park, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, Rose Medical Center and several communities, stores and parks.

Building on Denver’s East Colfax BRT project, which is in progress, an extension is also envisioned for Colfax Avenue from I-225 to I-70. In Boulder County, construction is planned soon for a BRT line on nine miles of the CO 119/Diagonal Highway from 47th St. in Boulder to Hover Street in Longmont.

“A critical part of BRT planning is strong public and community engagement,” said Jessica Myklebust, regional transportation director for CDOT’s Denver Metro region. “The success of a strong BRT program depends greatly on the partnership with the communities where the corridors are located. CDOT will have robust public outreach. BRT will connect our urban corridors and communities, providing vital transportation options that allow us access to jobs, shopping, health care, education, recreation and life.”

CDOT’s efforts to move forward with BRT are made possible through partnerships with Denver RTD, the city and county of Denver, the Denver Region Council of Governments, the Federal Transportation Administration and local municipalities.