With COVID-19 and the prospective N Line opening, the Regional Transportation District is making changes to local routes.
Some of the changes have been in place since April as a result of COVID-19, while other changes will happen after the N Line’s opening Sept. 21. RTD representatives updated Brighton City Council, and answered councilors’ questions, at a study session Aug. 11.
Several bus routes offer transportation to Brighton area residents. The 120 is the local line, the RX is the regional line to Denver Union Station and the 145X travels to Denver International Airport.
See the following map:
A map of RTD routes in Brighton right now. The routes are set to change when the N Line opens. Courtesy of RTD
Since April 19, the 120 has temporarily ceased operations, while the number of RX trips is a fraction of what it was. RTD stopped the 120 because of COVID-19 budget shortfalls. A similar rationale reduced the number of RX trips, combined with the fact that less people are commuting to Denver and more are working from home. The RX operates weekdays only and runs two northbound and two southbound trips per day.
Nataly Handlos, RTD lead service planner for the region, reminded council that RTD also offers FlexRide services, a personalized bus service. For more information about FlexRide and how to reserve a trip, visit RTD’s web page.
These revised COVID-19 schedules will undergo more work after the N Line, a commuter rail between the Adams County region and Denver’s Union Station, opens. The 120 will technically be discontinued and split into two routes, the 120L, which will traverse Sable Boulevard, and the 520, which will go along Bridge Street and the eastern parts of Brighton. When the N Line opens, the 120L will operate on Saturdays, while the 520 won’t start until RTD resumes normal services.
Then, the RX will take commuters to the N Line’s 124th/Eastlake Station in Thornton instead of to Union Station.
See the following map:
Future changes to local, labeled with their new names, all of which will happen when the N Line opens. Courtesy of RTD
While RTD representatives were focused on near-term route changes, councilors were curious about the long term. Mayor Greg Mills asked about enhanced connectivity to the A Line commuter rail to DIA. If times were normal, Handlos said, “that would definitely be something on the list that we could look at to see what’s possible.”
Councilman Adam Cushing said it’s problematic that the RX doesn’t operate on weekends. It’s hard for residents to travel to Denver on the weekend for recreational purposes, and Adams County Jail inmates have nowhere to go if they’re released those days, he said.
“We’re a metro Denver city, whether we like it or not, and we just don’t have that connection,” Cushing added.
Councilman Clint Blackhurst lamented the BroncosRide’s cancellation, at least for this season. “They filled up every bus that they brought here,” Blackhurst said, “It was the only RTD service that we got for our dollar.”