Aurora staffers share 2028 timeframe for Colfax bus upgrades

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AURORA | Transit upgrades along Aurora’s slice of the Colfax Avenue corridor are coming, at least before the end of the decade, according to the City of Aurora.

City Council members Alison Coombs and Juan Marcano expressed their support for the Colfax Bus Rapid Transit Project on Thursday, as staffers updated them during a meeting of the Transportation, Airports and Public Works Policy Committee and suggested that the city contribute to the improvements.

Even if the city doesn’t chip in, principal transportation planner Huiliang Liu told council members that 10 bus stops between Yosemite and Potomac — including local stops as well as stations along the Regional Transportation District’s 15L line — could be improved with shelters, surveillance cameras and other features.

Liu said the City and County of Denver is contributing money and pursuing a Federal Transit Authority Small Starts grant for the project that in its totality will improve bus lines along the Colfax corridor between I-25 and I-225.

He also described improvements that Aurora could see if it matches some of the funding, such as level boarding, real-time scheduling displays and ticket machines at bus stations.

Liu said the station improvements and branded BRT buses could be up and running by early 2028, following bidding, construction, bus acquisition and testing between 2026 and 2028.

“Man, 2028. It’s going to be a good year,” Marcano said. “I’m very excited about this.”

The Colfax BRT project launched a decade ago as the Colfax Corridor Connections study. The current operations plan includes three lines from Denver Union Station running all day, every day. Buses in what Liu called the “core” segment between I-225 and Denver Union Station will run more frequently on average than they do now.

On the route ending at Colfax Station, buses will depart on a 10-minute interval; on the Aurora Metro Center, a 15-minute interval; and on the Picadilly Road route, a 15-minute interval.

Existing 15L stops at Jamaica Street and Nome Street, and the westbound stop at Aurora Court would not be used by the Colfax BRT.

In response to questions from council members, Liu said level boarding would probably be the most difficult improvement to implement uniformly at all stations because of differences in layout and terrain.

“That’s something we’re going to have to analyze in the later stages of this project,” he noted.

Coombs and Marcano recommended approval of the operations plan. They also said they would support the city contributing to the project — Liu said the city is being asked to contribute $1.6-2 million for the most basic station improvements, or up to $13.8-19.3 million for more sophisticated station features. Liu said the city could be expected to contribute as soon as this year for the design portion.

Coombs said she thought the contribution figures were “nominal” given the scope of the project.

 

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