DENVER — Denver's "Train to the Plane" is celebrating its fifth year of service.
Since Regional Transportation District (RTD) opened the University of Colorado A Line five years ago, more than 30 million customers have taken Denver's first commuter rail line to Denver International Airport (DIA).
RTD and Colorado public officials held a celebration Tuesday, April 27 to mark the fifth anniversary of the train's opening.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, RTD General Manager and CEO Debra Johnson, RTD Board Chair Angie Rivera-Malpiede, Denver Transit Partners' Doug Allen and DIA CEO Kim Day were among those at Tuesday's event at Denver Union Station.
> Above video: 2017 story on A Line's first anniversary.
RTD said ridership on the 23-mile A Line has grown steadily over its five years of operation. During August 2019, the month with highest ridership, the University of Colorado A Line carried more than 744,000 customers – about 24,000 per day.
According to DIA, the A Line's electrified trains on the line have collectively traveled close to 17.5 million miles – a distance that encompasses more than 36 trips to the moon and back.
“With every decision, RTD aims to provide our customers with a viable transportation network that is comprehensive and seamless, and the University of Colorado A Line is a notable part of our system,” said Johnson. “The addition of this line has broadened the connections our customers can make and led agencies worldwide to ask how we made it all possible.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, RTD said its commuter rail services retained 45% of pre-COVID-19 ridership numbers – the best in the nation for commuter rail.
RELATED: Literally just 113 facts about DIA
The CU A Line was part of RTD’s 2004 voter-approved FasTracks plan to expand transit across the Denver metro region.
Construction on the project began in 2010 and the last rail was laid in 2014. The A Line has seven stations from Denver's Union Station to DIA.
RELATED: Last April, DIA was almost empty and planes were parked on the runway. Here's what it looks like now
University of Colorado A Line
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: DIA at 25
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER
Download the 9NEWS APP
Google Play: http://on9news.tv/1lWnC5n
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9news" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.