Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, will offer a reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly way to travel the corridor. US 36 BRT is the first service of its kind to connect the Denver metro area with the Northwest region’s world-class businesses, federal institutions and the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Flatiron Flyer is the new rapid transit service that the Regional Transportation District will launch in 2016 as part of the voter approved RTD FasTracks Program. There are seven major components of BRT that will work together to provide reliable access to downtown Boulder, Union Station or connections to Denver International Airport (DIA).
The RTD FasTracks program includes two phases of BRT implementation:
Completed in 2010, $23.5 million for improvements such as adding bus slip ramps and access improvements to RTD Park-n-Rides at US 36 & McCaslin Boulevard, US 36 & Church Ranch Boulevard, US 36 & Broomfield and US 36 & Table Mesa.
$219 million for improvements listed below as elements that comprise an efficient Bus Rapid Transit system. BRT will be open to the public in 2016.
Priority Transit Lanes:
The Flatiron Flyer will use the new US 36 Express Lanes, providing a significant travel time advantage over driving in the general purpose lanes. Buses will travel on a combination of Express Lanes, in the general purpose lanes or on the highway shoulder to bypass slow-moving traffic, depending upon the type of service, congestion, etc.
Frequent and reliable service:
During peak hours, riders can expect a bus every 4-15 minutes, depending on location. The Flatiron Flyer is designed for frequent service to your destination with the choice of two types of service. Express service will have fewer stops, running every 10 minutes during the peak hours between Table Mesa Station in Boulder and Union Station. All-station service will run every 15 minutes throughout the day and will serve all six stations along US 36. RTD is in the process of drafting the service plan, so please get involved in the public meetings starting in March.
All-station and Express bus service will make connections to existing stations where passengers can connect to local RTD service or walk/bike to their destinations.
The passenger experience is improved through amenities such as large canopies, additional benches, better lighting, security cameras and electronic screens displaying schedule information.
The six stations are US 36*Table Mesa, US 36*McCaslin, US 36*Flatiron, US 36*Broomfield, US 36*Church Ranch and US 36*Sheridan (formerly US 36*Westminster Center).
The Flatiron Flyer fleet is comprised of 59 new, branded buses that are easy to identify. Each vehicle comfortably seats 57 people and will carry 6-8 bikes. The new vehicles are modern, wheelchair accessible and have plenty of storage space.
Improved fare collection:
Ticket Vending Machines at the stations allow riders to pay for their fare before boarding.
BRT will use electronic screens to display *real-time schedule information at stations. In addition, BRT will take advantage of transit signal priority at intersections along the corridor to minimize travel time.
*RTD is developing real-time schedule information in an effort to implement it opening day.
Modern branding identity:
The Flatiron Flyer features distinctive graphics and colors to help passengers find their buses quickly and make connections to final destinations.
Other Benefits Coming to US 36 Corridor:
First-and-Final Mile Improvements: The US 36 Bikeway and local trail extensions will provide easy bike/pedestrian access to the BRT stations.
Bike-n-Ride Shelters: Adding secure bike parking at the stations is being pursued through local partners.
Wayfinding: There will be emergency markers and wayfinding signage to guide bicyclists to existing bike paths and trail systems within the corridor.
Bike Share: 36 Commuting Solutions is working with local partners to develop bike sharing resources along the US 36 corridor.
How BRT Fits into the US 36 Express Lanes Project
As economic development, employment and population expands along the US 36 corridor, there is more demand for main arteries to transport people from the Front Range to metro Denver. By 2035, it is anticipated RTD ridership on US 36 will increase from current levels of 12,500 trips per day to 20,400 trips per day.
The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a joint partnership between RTD and CDOT, which will reconstruct the general purpose lanes and add a new Express Lane in each direction. RTD is implementing the RTD FasTracks voter-approved US 36 BRT project in partnership with CDOT. The US 36 Express Lanes Project will give travelers more choice in getting from A to B. Prioritized use of the Express Lanes will be used to facilitate Bus Rapid Transit service. Carpoolers and vanpoolers can use the lanes for free and solo drivers will pay a toll. The existing general purpose lanes will remain free for all travelers. In addition, bicyclists will be able to travel on the US 36 Bikeway.
36 Commuting Solutions is actively working with CDOT, RTD and local government partners to facilitate this innovative service. Updates about US 36 BRT will be included in 36 Commuting Solutions’ monthly e-newsletters.
2015 Flatiron Flyer Fact Sheet
RTD Press Release – New Brand Identify for US 36 BRT
RTD Webpage – Bus Rapid Transit
US 36 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Bus Rapid Transit Overview
Lessons Learned from Los Angeles BRT