The Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus and light rail transit system is the main public transportation of the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area and last weekend, the long-awaited W line of the light-rail opened. Its route goes from Golden to Union Station in downtown Denver.
Looking back at the history of Denver’s public transportation system, bus services in Denver started as far back as 1924 with the Denver tramway that had a route from Englewood to Fort Logan. As the city grew, the buses took over the streetcar system but because of a decline in ridership, in 1971, then Denver Tramway Company transferred all its assets to the Denver Metro Transit.
Three years later in 1974, the Denver Metro Transit became part of RTD, which was created to provide public transportation to the surrounding counties of Denver, and sparked ridership with the new banner of transportation.
The light rail system of Denver started with the D Line in October of 1994. Since then, several other lines opened spanning miles of Denver and allowing citizens of Denver, Lakewood, and now Golden to ride trains and buses all over the city.
On Friday, April 26, the W Line began operations, connecting Golden to Denver through the RTD light rail system. The light rail expansions includes 12.1 miles of light rail, 11 new stations, 6 Park-n-Rides, and 3 new Call-n-Rides, one of which is located in Golden.
To celebrate the opening of the W Line, riders get two days of free rides, entertainment, and food. The jefferson county government center, also the location of the new golden station, held the grand opening ceremony and celebration. The opening ceremony included a speech by Senator Michael Bennet and Governor John Hickenlooper, who said, “This is an example of how fast-moving Colorado is. We will see little villages all along the FasTracks corridor where people will live and shop and all that time we will be eliminating congestion and using less carbon and less energy. “. The speech concluded with playing by the Colorado School of Mines Band as the first train was boarded by VIPs attending the speech. This momentous occasion marked the expansion and desire to modernize the public transportation system and riders celebrated at each of the stations along the line.