Federal Boulevard Transit Projects

Federal Boulevard is a critical north-south roadway along the west side of downtown Denver, providing important regional connectivity.  Federal Boulevard is home to some of the most diverse neighborhoods in Denver and is one of the highest transit ridership corridors in the city.

There are two corridor-wide transit projects on Federal Blvd:

  • Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project
  • Denver Moves: Federal Transit Study

The Denver Moves: Federal Transit Study, which began in 2019, analyzed potential transit options for the future of transit on Federal Boulevard, including the long-term goal of implementing Bus Rapid Transit along the corridor.  As a first step towards realizing this vision, the City and County of Denver launched the Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project to design and build near-term transit infrastructure improvements with design through 2022 and construction beginning in 2023.

Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project

Denver’s transit vision is for more reliable, frequent, connected, and higher-quality transit along major corridors. The City and County of Denver has launched the Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project to design and build near-term infrastructure improvements to move buses faster and help them stay more reliably on schedule.

Project Map

The project area is Federal Boulevard between W 52nd Avenue and W Floyd Avenue.

Federal Boulevard Transit Speed and Reliability Improvement project area map from Federal Boulevard between W 52nd Avenue and W Floyd Avenue

Project Background and Materials

The Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project is one step towards realizing the long-term vision of high-quality transit along the corridor, as identified in the Denver Moves: Federal Transit Study. The Federal Boulevard Transit Reliability Project will design near-term transit capital improvements, which are expected to be constructed beginning in 2023.

Project Status

The project launched in mid-2021. Currently, the project team is reviewing transit improvements that have been identified in previous planning studies. Additionally, the team is analyzing transit speed and reliability data to determine gaps between identified improvements and areas of need. From here, the team will develop design concepts. The project prioritization and early design concepts phase of the project is scheduled to complete by February 2022. The design and NEPA evaluation phase of the project is scheduled to complete by December 2022 with construction plans as the final deliverable. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in Spring 2023, pending award of contractor and the outcomes of this phase of the project.

Project Timeline

Federal Transit Speed & Reliability project timeline graphic

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Fall 2021 Project Newsletter(PDF, 759KB)

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Denver Moves: Federal Transit Study

The transit study and alternatives analysis advances the corridor vision by identifying and analyzing transit options along the Federal Boulevard corridor within the City and County of Denver. Denver Moves: Federal Transit Study evaluated different transit options including bus rapid transit and light rail and analyzed how enhanced transit can better serve the communities that make this corridor such a vibrant and multi-faceted place.

What is an Alternative Analysis?
An alternatives analysis is the next step in the process from planning to implementation. It involves evaluating costs, benefits, and impacts of potential transit options. The transit study builds on a combination of past and ongoing mobility, land use, and community plans and studies that include Federal Boulevard within the City and County of Denver. Our team worked with stakeholders to identify, evaluate, and narrow the range of potential options for high capacity transit along the Federal corridor from Floyd Avenue to 52nd Avenue.

What is high capacity transit?
High capacity transit provides more frequent and reliable service that links important activity centers. It may include features, such as level boarding of transit vehicles (no stepping up or down), separated/ dedicated transit lanes, unique branding identifying where the line is going to, and service that runs more often.

Project Map

Denver Moves Federal study area map

The project analyzes capital improvements within the boundaries of the City and looks into operational improvements for neighboring jurisdictions.

Locally Preferred Alternative:

The alternatives analysis found that side-running bus rapid transit for the southern section of the corridor below 20th Ave, and enhanced transit for the northern section of the corridor was the highest scoring transit option for Federal Blvd.

This service would include features such as: 

  • Improving frequency of current bus service: Less wait time between buses, and more service during nights and weekends.
  • Improving facilities on existing service lines: higher quality stops and stations, or traffic signals that prioritize buses.
  • Bus rapid transit (BRT) service: Sections of roadway space dedicated to high quality and high capacity bus service, with stops and amenities similar to those serving rail.
  • Combinations of several options: Including level boarding, real-time schedule information, recognizable transit branding, and intersection improvements.

Project Materials

This State of the Corridor document provides detailed background on the existing mobility planning context of the Federal Boulevard corridor in the City and County of Denver.

State of the Corridor Memo(PDF, 5MB)

The Final Report goes into detail on the project process, public engagement, screening results and provides recommendations.

Final Report(PDF, 6MB)

For the full report including the appendices, please email transit@denvergov.org to obtain a copy.

What's Next

The city will be aligning funding opportunities to move Federal Blvd BRT into its next step of implementation.