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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

From Sterling Ranch to downtown Denver in exactly 31 minutes - even during rush hour

When completed, the Southwest Rail Extension will take Sterling Ranch residents to downtown Denver in 31 minutes, DIA in 71 minutes, and the Denver Tech Center in 37 minutes, even during rush hour!

The Southwest Rail Extension is part of RTD’s FasTracks plan to expand train service across the Denver metro region - including right next door to Sterling Ranch! The project will extend the train line 2.5 miles from Mineral Station to Lucent Boulevard in Highlands Ranch.

For those of you not familiar with southwest Denver, here's a quick map to help orient you. Given it's a new community, Sterling Ranch isn't shown, but it's just left (west) of the "Highlands Ranch" wording on the bottom of the map below, close to the bend where the green rail line turns into an "L".

This line extension is great news for Sterling Ranch residents. It's no secret that Denver has traffic issues like most large, growing cities, and one concern we all have is how to navigate Denver's highways, especially during rush hour. Right now, if you live in Sterling Ranch and want to commute to downtown Denver via car, you would likely take Santa Fe (also known as Highway 85) directly north into town. Depending on traffic and the time of day, this could take you anywhere from 25 minutes to more than an hour. But once Light Rail is extended to C-470 and Lucent, the commute will be exactly 31 minutes to Union Station in downtown Denver - any time of day or night.

The line’s new station at C-470 and Lucent - which is just up the road from Sterling Ranch - will include 1,000 parking spaces. So you'll have plenty of parking if you want to take the train to DIA and grab a flight or commute into Denver!

Also, RTD is considering adding another station on the southeast corner of C-470 and Santa Fe, which is right where the green line bends on the map above. This is about 5-10 minutes from Titan Road and Sterling Ranch.

Southwest Rail Extension trains will run every 5 minutes during peak times, and every 10 minutes during non-peak times.

So ... RTD doesn't have a projected completion date for the Southwest Rail Extension. RTD's official statement is that the project is "ready for final design" and it will be built "sooner rather than later." This sounds promising, but keep in mind the overall FasTracks project has experienced significant delays. So I wouldn't count on this project being completed in the near term.

That said, RTD is finishing the Thornton line in 2018 and the Lone Tree line in 2019, so as other lines are completed, I imagine the Southwest Rail Extension will move up the queue. Until then, Sterling Ranch residents can still take the train from Mineral Station, which has been up and running for years.

Long term, it's hard to beat being just down the road from potentially 3 Light Rail stops!

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