G Line to open April 26

Details about safety, celebratory events, changes in bus service to come


The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announce April 1 that the grand opening for the G Line, which will run through Denver, Adams County, Arvada and Wheat Ridge, will be on Friday, April 26.

On opening weekend, RTD will offer free rides along the line.

Though the announcement came on April Fools' Day, RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova said the opening date was no joke.

“Thank you for your patience, thank you for your understanding and thank you to our partners,” Genova said. “I know it's been a rough road and this process has had its challenges.”

The 11.2-mile electric commuter rail line will connect passengers from the westernmost station, at Wheat Ridge and Ward, to Union Station in downtown Denver in 25 minutes.

The project is part of RTD's 2004 voter-approved FasTracks program to expand transit across the Denver metro region. The G Line will be operated by RTD concessionaire Denver Transit Partners (DTP), which also manages operation of the University of Colorado A Line to Denver International Airport and the B Line to Westminster under a federally funded public-private partnership.

“I'm just feeling beyond happy and grateful for everything that came together,” said Shelley Cook, RTD Board member for District L, representing Arvada. “I'm grateful for everyone who was involved in making this happen.”

The G line was supposed to open in the fall of 2016, but has been in limbo working out the kinks of its wireless positive train control (PTC) technology, a complex system that reduces the risk of catastrophic train accidents. RTD is the first transit agency in the United States to build PTC technology into a new rail system from the ground up, which has required extensive testing and modification of the system.

“As RTD marks its 50th anniversary of people moving people, I am thrilled that this line will soon provide another excellent option to get riders where they need to go,” Genova said. “Many people have worked hard to make this project a reality, and I cannot underscore how grateful we are for the continued patience the public has displayed during this process.

“It is of utmost importance to me that this line, like all of our projects, is safe and reliable for our passengers. I am confident that we have done this. We are ready.”

According to RTD, ridership on the G Line has been forecast at 9,000 passenger trips per day during the first year, and at 12,900 daily trips in 2035.

The G Line will open with quiet zones in place along the entirety of the line. Quiet zones — railroad segments where train operators don't have to sound their horns on a routine basis — are established once all regulatory approvals have been processed. RTD assisted Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Adams County in the application process to secure these approvals. Horns can continue to be used in emergency situations; if maintenance workers, pedestrians or vehicles are on or near the tracks; if there are issues with gate timing at any of the G Line's 16 crossings; or if a train must use automatic train control (ATC) instead of PTC.

The two-car commuter rail trains on the G Line include 91 seats in each car, two ADA-compliant seating areas, luggage racks, overhead carry-on storage areas, and space for skis and bikes. Trains are designed to travel faster than light rail trains over longer distances, with fewer stops. Passengers board at the same level as station platforms. Commuter rail service debuted in the Denver metro area in April 2016, with the introduction of the University of Colorado A Line.


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