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Colfax BRT

GDT > Projects > Colfax BRT

The Colfax Bus Rapid Transit Project

The Colfax Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project will increase capacity, shorten journey times and improve the transit rider experience along East Colfax Avenue in Denver by providing center-running BRT (blue section). The BRT services will use the existing bus lanes in Downtown Denver to serve Union Station (yellow section) and existing mix-traffic lanes in Aurora (orange section). Final design is expected to wrap up this year, with construction taking place from 2024 to 2026. Revenue service is expected to start in January 2027.

Project Timeline

  • 2020–2022: Preliminary design, engineering and environmental review
  • 2023–2024: Final design and FTA Small Starts application process (pursuing federal funding)
  • 2024–2026: Construction, testing and commissioning
  • 2027: BRT service begins 

The story so far…

Aug 2nd, 2022

Community Open House

Apr 18th, 2023

Community Open House, Lynx Logo revealed.

Mar 9th, 2023

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces that it is recommending $126.9M in federal funding for Colfax BRT.

Jun / Jul, 2023

Workshop 1: Broadway to Colorado Blvd. (Jun 7th, 2023)
Workshop 2: Colorado Blvd. to Yosemite St. (Jun 14th, 2023)
Workshop 3: BRT in Aurora (Jul 12th, 2023)

Nov 16th, 2023

Community Webinar, Lynx color palette announced.

Feb 28th, 2024

Community Open House, Colfax BRT project logo updated.

So What is Center-running Bus Rapid Transit?

Center-running BRT places the buses in the center of the road, with a dedicated bus lane for each direction. This layout reduces conflicts with drivers making right turns and is thus claimed to be both faster for buses and safer. Due to the need to accommodate left turn lanes at intersections, the station platforms are staggered both sides of the intersection.

Station Designs

Stations will resemble those found on light rail with raised platforms (to provide level boarding), canopies, seating, ticket vending machines and electronic displays. The project has proposed a bold arch design for the stations along Colfax Avenue.

What Will The Buses Be Like?

In partnership with the project, RTD is expected to order New Flyer XD60 diesel powered articulated buses for Colfax Lynx services when they start in 2027. They will have three sets of double doors for quick boarding and will be similar to the Free MetroRide vehicles that ran downtown before the Covid-19 pandemic. Because the height of BRT platforms poses a safety hazard to anyone using the front bike rack, storage for bikes will be provided inside the buses.

Transit Signal Priority

Transit signal priority (TSP) is a smart trick whereby buses can communicate their presence to traffic signals, which then turn green for the bus. Less waiting at red lights speeds up journey times

Will BRT Reduce Journey Times?

In response to the question “What is the expected BRT journey time between Colfax / Broadway and Colfax / I-225 when the service starts running in January 2027?”, the project has the following to say.

When the BRT opens, the estimated travel time for buses traveling the full length of the corridor from Broadway to I-225 is 35 minutes – a travel time savings of up to 15 minutes compared to current 15/15L travel times. People commuting the average trip length of three miles will experience an estimated five minutes of bus travel time savings.

By 2040, this travel time savings is expected to grow to 30 minutes between Broadway and I-225 and 10 minutes for people commuting the average trip length of three miles.

Below is a table which compares these times to the existing RTD bus route 15L and 15 schedules. The maximum time saving we can see is 13 mins. It is possible that BRT services may be timed quicker than 35 mins late at night.

Broadway to I-225

Colfax BRT

Existing 15L Bus

Existing 15 Bus

Midday Time (12pm)

35 mins

41 mins

43 mins

Slowest Time (5pm)

35 mins

44 mins

48 mins

Fastest Time (11pm)

35 mins

32 mins

33 mins