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Colorado Transportation Officials Look to L.A. for Guidance

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A coalition made up of transportation officials, mayors and others are looking to California for some transportation solutions.

The ultimate goal of U.S. 36 Commuting Solutions is to transform the roadway between Denver and Boulder into a multi-modal route, rather than an auto-oriented one as it is now.  With that goal in mind, the coalition along with state transportation officials will visit Los Angeles’ 15-mile Metro Orange Line and Silver Line, part of their so-called Bus Rapid Transit System.

“Bus Rapid Transit is a system that includes various elements that come together in order to emulate rail service using rubber-tired buses just like you’d normally see on U.S. 36,” says U.S. 36 Commuting Solutions Executive Director, Audrey Debarros.

But, there are special elements such as a fixed guide way or special lane for the vehicles, higher frequency of service and unique vehicles that make it easier to get on and off.

The U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) will be a part of the tour, taking place on Wednesday.

“Many of us have not actually seen a BRT system and it’s quite hard to advocate for a product when you haven’t actually seen it.  So we’re there to learn about how Los Angeles has incrementally built their BRT system and also to develop a shared vision of what could be developed on U.S. 36,” says DeBarros.

Work on the U.S. 36corridor is expected to start in the summer of 2012.