MetroRide Named Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year

Feb. 2, 2015

The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) Free MetroRide project has been recognized as the 2014 Small Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year by Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Colorado. RTD was presented with the award during a ceremony with WTS on Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Denver Marriott City Center. 

The WTS Innovation Award is given to a transportation project that has demonstrated innovative concepts and provides the public a unique benefit. The recipient must also demonstrate that women had meaningful leadership roles within the project. 

The Free MetroRide is a new bus service created to help keep up with the demand and the flow of commuters in downtown Denver. It began service on May 12, 2014, with the opening of the Union Station Bus Concourse. The service runs between Union Station and Civic Center Station along 18th and 19th streets with limited stops. The service runs during weekday rush hours and provides convenient connections to bus, light rail and employment centers and other destinations for downtown commuters. The Free MetroRide is a fast and reliable alternative companion to the 16th Street Free MallRide. 

The Free MetroRide project was unique in the number of women that were involved in every step of the process—from project management to engineering design to construction to marketing and public information. 

“I feel very honored that I was able to play a role in implementing the vision for additional transit circulation in downtown that was identified as part of the 2004 FasTracks Plan and the City’s 2005 Downtown Multi-Modal Plan,” said Lacy Bell, Project Manager on the Free MetroRide project. “There were many women involved in this project and it is great for RTD to be recognized for this achievement by WTS.” 

Since opening in May, the Free MetroRide has already proven to be a success. The service has been highly utilized, with an average of over 2,000 passengers a day. To meet demand, RTD has added extra buses during service times. Anecdotally, RTD staff has heard from numerous commuters saying that the service has helped with their travel time and made their morning and afternoon commutes easier and faster.