Out of state students rejoice! On April 22, 2016, RTD opened the new University of Colorado A-Line light rail track with service to the airport. This line has been highly anticipated by Colorado residents everywhere and will make travel easier for many. Mines students in particular should be excited about this addition to the light rail track, as it is available to all Mines students at no additional expense.
Derek Morgan, Dean of Students, described this new line as an additional service at no additional cost because the school’s Intermodal Transportation Fee already covers the cost of taking the light rail. The transportation fee pays for the RTD pass that is issued to each student upon his or her arrival at Mines. This pass can be used to take any bus or light rail in Colorado.
Derek Morgan spoke animatedly about the RTD pass and stated that he wished he had an opportunity like it when he was a college student. He hopes that the RTD pass can help with parking on campus and help students get to downtown Denver for games or just visiting. According to Morgan, the RTD pass is an amazing resource whether students use it only a handful of times or every day.
The new A-Line is accessible to students through the light rail station in Golden at the Jefferson County Building (the “Taj Mahal” as some call it). The line from Golden to Denver is called the W Line, and trains on the W Line leave the Jefferson County Building every 15 minutes and take about 25 minutes to reach Union Station. A few blocks from Union Station, the new A-Line departs every 15 minutes and takes about 37 minutes to reach the airport. While this may take longer than driving straight to the airport, it is an excellent option for people who do not have a car or do no want to pay for long-term parking. There are also parking options along the line for those who want to drive to a parking area and take the light rail the rest of the way.
Students can use their RTD Buss Passes to ride the light rail and simply need to show their passes to ticket collectors that come around on the trains. If a student is worried that his or her pass has expired or does not work, they should go to the Campus Living Office located near Elm Hall to get a replacement. It is important to note that the pass does not work over the summer unless students are enrolled in summer classes and paying the transportation fee. However students will be able to utilize the pass for the remainder of the semester and next year.
For those without an RTD pass, the trip from Golden to Denver International Airport can cost about $13.50. The trip from Union Station to Denver International Airport alone costs $9.00, which means that a round trip to and from the airport can cost around $27. This means that the transportation fee pays for itself in just two trips to and from the airport. Derek Morgan strongly urged students to use the pass. “We pay for the passes regardless, I would rather people use it,” Morgan expressed.
Image courtesy RTD.