Finally, all aboard the G Line!

After three years of delays, light rail line connecting Wheat Ridge and Arvada to downtown Denver opens

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Connie Burg has been dealing with the loud train horns from the G Line and her landscaping, she said, has been destroyed multiple times when construction vehicles rolled through her neighborhood.

But she was excited April 26 as the long-awaited 11-mile commuter rail line finally opened to the public.

"It's a big deal," said Burg, who lives minutes away from the Wheat Ridge Ward Station, the last stop on the route that runs from there through Arvada, Adams County and into Denver's Union Station. "We've been waiting for a long time. We've been living with the construction for a long time. We're excited about being able to get downtown and get to the airport."

The G Line's opening has been delayed since October 2016 because of problems with the timing of crossing gates, which have been solved to federal regulators' satisfaction. The Regional Transportation District, which operates the light rail and commuter rail lines in the Denver metro area, anticipates about 9,000 passenger trips per day during the first year. That number is expected to rise to 12,900 daily trips by 2035.

“It's been a long time coming, but I think it's really worth it to have (the G Line) running safely and for it to have all the checks on it," Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker said to Colorado Community Media. "It's a great way for our citizens to not only get downtown, but go anywhere in the world."

The commuter rail line, coated in yellow with the words “Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Downtown” on it, will give free rides until May 12. Quiet zones, sections of the railroad where trains don't have to blare their horns, will be implemented along the entire line.

“This is so exciting to finally have this train open and having folks to be able to get around our community," Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said. "Our visitor center is going to be working with folks so that we can get the word out in downtown Denver, at the Colorado Convention Center and elsewhere to come out to Arvada and to check out all the great things that Olde Town Arvada has to offer.”

The G Line will run from 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., arriving every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours. The fare is $3 to ride from the Wheat Ridge station to the Union station stop.

On April 26, the official line-cutting ceremony at the Wheat Ridge station drew people decked out in shirts with the words "nothin' but a G thing" to listen to a series of city and RTD officials.

“It's tremendously meaningful for this to open — not just for we on the board or the staff, but for the people who have waited for it, or moved here, or started a business because of (the G Line)," said Shelley Cook, RTD board member for District L, which represents most of Arvada and the North Washington and Welby neighborhoods. “We feel like they're co-investors in this.”

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