TRANSPORTATION COMMUTER RAIL :
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How the Denver-to-DIA Train, Opening Friday, Will Change the Metro Area Forever
How the Denver-to-DIA Train, Opening Friday,
Will Change the Metro Area Forever
The electrificed commuter rail line promises to take passengers nearly 23 miles to DIA in 37 minutes
By John Aguilar
The Denver Post
POSTED: 04/16/2016 10:04:31 PM MDT
A shorter URL for the above link:
Twenty-three miles. Thirty-seven minutes. Nine dollars.
That’s the distance, the duration and the price of a one-way trip between Union Station and Denver International Airport on the A-Line, which opens Friday.
The Regional Transportation District’s train to the airport is a major new option for thousands of daily travelers, who until now had to rely on taxis, ride-hailing services, buses and their own vehicles to get to DIA.
The $1.2 billion project, the first commuter rail line in Colorado, is the culmination of a plan hatched approximately three decades ago, when the idea arose of moving Denver’s airport from its old Stapleton location to a new site on the outskirts of the city.
Civic and business leaders characterize a train to DIA as a game-changer for the city and state, launching the metro area into a whole new tier on the international stage.
“If you’re going to have a world-class city, you have to have a rail line from your airport to your city,” said Andrew Goetz, a professor of geography at the University of Denver who specializes in transportation and transit systems. “It’s kind of an expectation people have now: Is there a rail connection?”
Denver joins fewer than 20 cities in the United States among them Seattle, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis with a train to the airport. But Denver’s line has advantages over most of the others, Goetz said. The high-speed electrified commuter rail (the A-Line can reach a top speed of 79 mph), has only six stops between Union Station and DIA to slow it down, and it pulls right up to the airport without the need for a people-mover, shuttle bus or lengthy hike to get from baggage claim or check-in to the train platform.
In fact, DIA is working toward putting in place a bag drop and providing kiosks to print out boarding passes at the platform, making it possible for travelers to head up the escalator and jump right into the security line.
“Denver is going to have one of the better ones in the U.S.,” Goetz said.
Kim Day, DIA’s chief executive officer, said the new train line places the airport shoulder to shoulder with some of the premier airports in the world.
“The addition of the commuter rail will no doubt elevate our status among the global cities that offer this type of connectivity to their airports,” Day said. “This means that we are no longer competing with Dallas and Chicago, but we are now competing with Zurich and Paris and other international airports.”
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