The public transportation system is called FasTracks, we call the trains the “Light Rail” in Denver. I remember showing homes/land along the I-25 corridor between Washington Park and DU about 10 years ago to a man in his 50’s explaining how the train/light rail would change the way we lived, it would change the way people thought about buying houses and commuting to work and drinking and driving. He just couldn’t understand why anyone would want to drive their car downtown and the thought of taking a piece of luggage and taking a train to the airport was ridiculous to him.
Last week when I decided to go to a show at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, I decided at the last minute to take the light rail. Near Colorado Boulevard and Evans there is a large parking lot where I parked, purchased a ticket and caught the light rail. After I bought my ticket I headed down to the tracks. I stood on the platform next to the tracks and when the train came to pick me up the sea of people standing with me in their Bronco gear boarded the train and filled the cars. I was the only person on that car who didn’t have Bronco gear on, but that was okay everyone was excited to get to their destination!
I have taken the light rail downtown to the Denver Center of Performing Arts many times as well as to Bronco, Nuggets and Avalanche games. It takes me about the same amount of time to park and ride and walk as it does to drive and park and walk. It saves gas money, parking money, driving around looking for a parking place, and frustration of getting out of crowded parking lots. There are times when driving and parking is easier, when it is really cold or wet and if you are going on a date, the guy should pick you up. But as a single gal, meeting friends it has been an easy, great way to meet at events downtown. I use the Colorado Station the most, since it is closest to my house. I met friends last week at the Denver Fireman Chili Cook off and their parents (65ish) picked up the light rail at Santa Fe to get to Larimer Square and said they love taking it. They get their exercise, and don’t have to figure out parking! My son uses it like a bus, he has figured out how to get all over the city between busses and light rail with an app on his phone he even knows the pickup times every day! We (Denver) feel like a big city compared to when I was 20 feeling “stranded” in west Denver without a car!
I’m so excited about the $1.03 Billion U.S. Transportation Funding Grant that will help us start the construction rail to go out to DIA and another line that will go to the northwestern part of the metro area, Arvada and Wheat Ridge. If you are from a big city, you can, but if not, just think, pick up the light rail with your carry on bag, your book or reader, and no traffic stress when you get back from that trip!
What! Wow! Can’t wait for my next trip! Oh, it’s not going to be done until 2016? Okay, I will wait, and take a few more trips in the meantime.
This video shows you the basics on “how” to ride the light rail.