Here’s the good news: RTD is planning an event to announce the opening date of the G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge.
The bad news is that we don’t know when we’ll know.
But the transit agency is preparing for the rollout of the long-delayed commuter rail line, as shown in public documents discussed by the RTD Board of Directors this week.
“It’s definitely a good sign,” said Scott Reed, assistant general manager for communications at RTD.
When will we know?
RTD’s latest documentation references a 2018 opening. The big factor is the Federal Railroad Administration. RTD requested permission last month to begin full testing, but they haven’t heard back yet.
Still, Reed sees good signs: On Monday, the last safety-flagger crews will leave the A Line. The A Line has struggled with crossing-arm technology that is also used on the G Line.
“The fact that we are having the last of the flaggers removed and Monday from the University of Colorado A Line — that is another step forward toward getting into full testing for the G Line, followed by the system performance demonstration testing, the full testing, which will ultimately lead to the line being open,” Reed said.
At some point, the agency will hold a press conference to announce the opening date. The agency is hoping to announce the opening at least a month beforehand, Reed said.
Who will ride?
Right now, RTD is expecting that commuters to downtown will be the largest ridership group. They’re expected to tend toward higher incomes and higher educations, mostly due to the high-paying jobs in the downtown area.
When will it run?
RTD plans to run trains every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Trains will run every 30 minutes on off-peak hours. And there will be no service from 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
The train will serve seven stations.
What will it look and sound like?
Similar to the A Line, it will run commuter rail trains that are 85 feet long and travel up to 79 mph. They’ll include luggage racks, overhead storage and areas for skis and bikes, per RTD.
It will take 27 minutes to ride the full 11-mile line, and about 20 minutes from Olde Town Arvada to Union Station
The trains may blow their horns at numerous at-grade crossings, at least until the governments get permission to establish “quiet zones” along the line.
And some of the trains may look something like this. The line has been called the “Gold” line throughout planning and construction, but it will only be the G Line when it’s in service.
What else changes?
Bus route 72L will be discontinued once the line is in service, affecting about 20 riders, according to RTD. The agency also will implement new routes and modify 10 other routes. When it opens new lines, the agency tries to realign its bus lines to provide access to the rail stations and to reduce redundancy.