RTD G-Line Opens Friday: A Step Toward Cleaner Air, Less Climate Change and Energy Savings for the Denver Metro Area

DENVER – Clean transportation advocates are celebrating the opening of the long-awaited G-Line light rail line this Friday, connecting Denver’s Union Station with Arvada and Wheat Ridge. For nearby residents headed downtown for work, for entertainment or to see a game, the train line helps make transit more attractive than driving – a critical way to reduce traffic congestion, prevent driving-related pollution and save energy. The train line will also run on electricity, which in Colorado is increasingly coming from zero-pollution sources like wind and solar power – meaning less health-threatening air pollution and less climate change.

Travis Madsen, Transportation Program Director at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to RTD for successfully completing the G-Line train. People are excited about this new train line for a lot of reasons. It will be a great way to go downtown to see the Rockies, the Nuggets or the Avs; to go see a show at DCPA, to get to work; or to head out to Olde Town Arvada for a bite to eat. We at SWEEP are also excited about the G-Line because it is a great example of how cities across the region can develop in a more sustainable, healthy and efficient way:

  1. The G-Line will be powered by increasingly clean electricity. To reduce air pollution, prevent climate change and to save money, our transportation system needs to shift away from gas and diesel and towards zero-pollution electricity, like the G-Line. That goes for buses, trucks and cars in addition to trains.
  2. The G-Line will provide high-quality, convenient and reliable service. In order to reduce traffic, cut down on pollution and save energy, transit needs to be more attractive than driving. Implementing efficient, transit-priority connections along major travel corridors will help people confidently get where they need to go quickly and effectively, without driving alone. That can and should include solutions like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines in addition to trains.  
  3. Denver is enabling affordable housing near Sheridan Station. Maximizing the benefits of the G-Line (and transit in general) requires smart development near stations. Ensuring that land around the stations is focused on mixed-uses (including affordable housing, jobs and services, rather than parking lots) will encourage people to ride, improve the efficiency of the system, and help concentrate new growth in areas where it makes the most sense.

These ideas are well-articulated in the Blueprint Denver plan passed by Denver City Council this week. We urge RTD, Denver, the metro area, and cities across the region to accelerate progress towards a clean, electric transportation system; with more high-quality, convenient and reliable transit connections; and smart, efficient, mixed-use development centered on transit hubs.”

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.