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Denver's RTD sets May opening for Southeast light-rail extension

The city of Lone Tree and area stakeholders contributed $25 million to support the new rail line.
Photo – RTD's blog


The Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) announced last week that the grand opening of the 2.3-mile Southeast light-rail extension will be held May 19.

The new light-rail line — an extension of RTD's E, F and R lines — will extend service south from Lincoln Station to RidgeGate Station in Lone Tree, Colorado. The extension includes three new stations and an additional 1,300 parking spaces.

The city of Lone Tree and area stakeholders contributed $25 million to support the new rail line, with an additional $3 million in in-kind contributions, land and right of way, RTD officials said in a press release.

"The Southeast rail extension allows RTD a unique opportunity to be an integral part of an overall plan to address access and mobility needs prior to development in this region," said RTD General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Dave Genova. "The unprecedented collaboration and partnerships that made it possible to complete this line illustrate this region’s strong commitment to transportation."

The local match of about 12 percent of the project cost far exceeded the 2.5 percent match that RTD asked of its local partners. The match helped RTD successfully secure federal funding for the project, agency officials said.

RTD received $92 million from the Federal Transit Administration's Small Starts funding program, as well as $9.4 million from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant funds. The project cost about $233.1 million.

The Southeast rail extension is part of RTD's FasTracks 2004 voter-approved transit expansion plan to build new rail lines, add bus rapid transit service, new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county district.