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RTD cancels Broncos Ride bus service for third-straight season

Without RTD's popular bus service, fans will have to make alternative transportation plans on game days.

DENVER — Denver Broncos fans will need to plan alternative transportation options when trying to get to Empower Field at Mile High this season.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) will continue its suspension of the BroncosRide bus service to the stadium.

RTD said its Board of Directors voted to indefinitely suspend BroncosRide services in April 2020, due to staffing challenges and the onset of the pandemic, and that suspension will continue for a third Broncos season.

RTD said the reduction in service, which began in 2020, is due to staffing issues including having enough operators and mechanics to meet new ridership demands.

"With limited resources, our service plan prioritizes mobility for essential workers and communities where ridership is high and service is needed the most," said a statement from RTD to 9NEWS.

BroncosRide, which provides bus service directly from Park-N-Ride stations to Empower Field at Mile High for Broncos games, accommodated 103,102 passengers during the 2019 football season.

RTD CEO Debra Johnson wrote in a May 2021 memo to the RTD Board of Directors: "While RTD's provision of special services for large-scale events enriches the region by allowing greater customer mobility, planning for and operation of special services is resource-intensive and impacts RTD's regularly scheduled services. Further, RTD continues to face challenges regarding operator recruitment and retention, and the provision of special services creates additional burdens on operators, dispatchers, and other agency staff. The provision of BroncosRide special service in particular created adverse operational, logistical, equity, and access impacts for the agency."

"Simply put, it is not in the best interest of the agency and the safety and well-being of the Operator, and the agency's newly evolving and hiring and retention strategies, to reinstate BroncosRide service," continued Johnson in the memo. "Moreover, it is incumbent upon the agency to adhere to Civil Rights laws, including but not limited to ADA, Title VI, as well as FRA and FTA regulations."

"RTD Rail Operations will continue to provide scalable, flexible, and responsive services for special events, including Broncos games, through overtime volunteers may be needed in these instances," said Johnson in the memo. "While Bus Operations can sustain additional capacity during certain special events, there are no plans at this time to create or reinstate any addition Bus Operations special services."

RTD encourages fans to use the RTD light rail system, which directly serves the Empower Field via the Decatur-Federal (W Line) and Empower Field at Mile High (C, E and W Lines) stops.

RTD said that during the 2022 Broncos season it will extend its regularly scheduled two-car trains on the weekends to four-car trains on the E Line, and from two-car trains to three-car trains on the W Line.

RTD said it is not anticipating scheduling additional light rail trips, due to not having the staff to operate additional trips. 

All RTD service will be free in August 2022 as part of a green, clean-air action plan.

RELATED: RTD to offer free fares in August

Light Rail Service

RTD said it will increase scheduled rail service to accommodate the suspension of BroncosRide service.

  • E and W Line light rail service are options for Empower Field at Mile High, and limited C Line service will be available prior to and immediately after games.
  • The University of Colorado A, B, G and N Line commuter rail service is available to Denver Union Station with a transfer to the C, E and W light rail Lines.

Bus Service

Bus routes that operate in the vicinity of Empower Field at Mile High:

  • Route 31 (North Federal Boulevard)
  • Route 30 (South Federal Boulevard)

Transfer Service

Bus routes that serve Denver Union Station with transfer to light rail:

  • Flatiron Flyer
  • 0, 9, 10, 15, 20, 32
  • 120X, LD

Bus routes serve Decatur-Federal Station:

  • 1, 15L, 16, 31

RELATED: 9NEWS will be Broncos' hometown television partner as part of multi-year extension

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An RTD bus in Longmont

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