WHY IS RTD STUDYING BRT ON SH 119?
Fast-growing Boulder County is attracting new businesses and residents which will increase congestion on SH 119. To address growing travel demand and provide improved mobility in the northwest region, RTD completed the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) in 2014. NAMS determined a prioritized list of mobility improvements, and BRT along SH 119 was identiﬁed as a high priority. As a next step, RTD and the northwestern communities are determining the feasibility of implementing BRT on the SH 119 corridor with this project.
The purpose of the SH 119 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor project is to optimize regional connectivity and mobility between and within Boulder and Longmont by providing multimodal improvements that result in faster and more reliable travel throughout the SH 119 corridor.
Additionally, RTD is working closely with CDOT who is currently conducting an alternatives analysis for a separated bikeway that runs the length of the SH 119 corridor, and connects into existing local multiuse path systems in Boulder and Longmont.
In order to determine the best mobility solution for the corridor, the project conducted an alternatives evaluation process that is included in the adjacent steps:
The SH 119 BRT Project also includes preliminary engineering and environmental clearance of the funded project elements.
Public involvement was an essential part of the overall SH 119 BRT Study, and was utilized to gather input on the project. The four pieces of stakeholder coordination and public involvement that were essential in the iterative evaluation process included the policy advisory committee (PAC); the technical advisory committee (TAC); the agency stakeholder group; and public, community, and business meetings. In addition to continuous opportunity for on-line public comment, between August 2017 and March 2019 RTD facilitated and received:
228 Responses for the Onboard Survey
450 + Comments & Responses via Webpage
1,400 + Online and In-Person Questionnaires Completed
(Oct. 2018 through Jan. 2019)
2 telephone town halls,
7 public meetings, 8 events, 11 presentations = 26 input opportunities
(includes outreach to five Hispanic and low income organizations)
SH 119 BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT)
2-ROUTE PATTERN, LIMITED STOP BRT SERVICE WITH:
BLUE ROUTE - 15 minutes all day (weekday) both directions; 15 to 30 minute (weekend) service both directions
ORANGE ROUTE - 30 minutes all day (weekday) both directions; no weekend service
Improvements to local & regional network connections to the BRT in Longmont, Boulder, & Gunbarrel
Inside BRT/Managed lanes along SH 119
New commuter bikeway along SH 119
22 enhanced, well-lit and weather-protected stations with BRT branding, real time passenger information, and more
5 park-n-ride facilities
Off-board fare collection with improved loading and unloading
Dedicated BRT/Transit lanes on Coffman Street in Longmont
Business Access & Transit (BAT) Lanes in Boulder
Longmont and Boulder intersection improvements with Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
The final technical analysis of the SH 119 BRT corridor introduced three different roadway improvements. The three roadway improvements are: bus on outside shoulder option, a BRT bypass/queue jump option, and an inside managed lane option.
THE GOAL WAS TO EVALUATE HOW DIFFERENT BUS ROUTES/PATTERNS, DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SERVICE WORK WITH THREE DIFFERENT CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT OPTIONS FOR THE BRT ROUTES.
The Analysis included 11 Options: the Existing BOLT/J (1), the Expanded BOLT/J (1), the 1 Pattern BRT with three different capital improvement options (3), the 2 Pattern BRT with three different capital improvement options (3); and the 4 Pattern BRT with three different capital improvement options (3).
2 ROUTE PATTERN PROVIDES:
Excellent service coverage in both cities, similar to BOLT/J
More direct, one-seat rides than single route
Increase in service hours and O&M cost can be phased over time as warranted and as funding becomes available
BRT/MANAGED LANES PROVIDE:
Highest travel time savings: 37 minute travel time (29 minutes saved in comparison to the BOLT)
Best transit service reliability
Higher transit ridership
Greatest number of travel options and benefits for all users: vehicles, transit, carpool, express tolls, and bicyclists while reducing congestion. 7,620 – 7,640 people traveling through the corridor per day - a 33% increase compared to the existing corridor
Improvements can be phased over time as funding becomes available
SH 119 ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCE, PROJECT PHASING & FUNDING
The SH 119 project elements will be analyzed with all project impacts assessed and mitigation measures defined. The environmental clearance document is under production in coordination with CDOT, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). With environmental clearance, the project elements can be implemented over time dependent on funding. The figure on the right defines all of the project elements that are part of the multi-modal corridor vision with some of them currently funded and some with funding yet to be determined. RTD has committed $30 million to construct priority elements of this project, including station enhancements and Park-n-Rides. The local agencies have received funding from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) that will support transit improvements on Coman Street in Longmont, BAT lanes in Boulder, and bus queue jump lanes on SH 119 at SH 52 . After this project, the local agencies with RTD and CDOT, will continue to work together on additional funding opportunities towards the full implementation of all remaining project elements.
WHAT’S NEXT? IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT ELEMENTS
Looking forward to transit service and capital improvements, RTD will continue to partner with stakeholders on options for other funding sources while moving forward with final design and construction of the funded transit project elements. BRT Services is planned to open in 2024.