How to Ride the RTD Light Rail to Rocky Mountain Opening Day

In 2019, on the last day of operation at full capacity, RTD said just under 51,000 people used the rail system.

DENVER — Thousands of fans are expected to flock to downtown Denver on Friday as the Rockies celebrate an opening day at full capacity for the first time since 2019.

Pandemic restrictions capped last year’s opening day crowd at 21,000, but this year’s game is expected to sell out.

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The Regional Transportation District said it expected an influx of passengers on Friday. In 2019, on the last day of operation at full capacity, RTD said just under 51,000 people used the rail system.

Like many industries, RTD is facing staff shortages.

9NEWS spoke to RTD spokesperson Brandon Figliolino about what they are doing to respond to the influx of cyclists.

(Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for context and clarity.)

9NEWS: Will RTD be a safe and reliable way to access the game?

Figliolin: RTD will be a safe and reliable way to access the game. We are prepared for the influx of customers and have hired staff accordingly.

What can runners expect on opening day?

Figliolin: I hope to see tons and tons of people here to celebrate the Rockies. RTD will also be there from 12pm to 2pm to chat with riders and customers and celebrate the big day. We’re going to have transit police here to talk to the community.

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We are really excited about the potential increase in ridership and we are ready to accommodate these additional passengers. We are adding extra cars on some of our light rail trains to make sure everyone can get to the game and go home after the game is over.

We keep our schedule consistent. We are not going to make any major changes. We just add these extra cars because it’s an easy way to increase capacity without the need for additional human resources.

Are there any particular light rail lines that should see an influx of riders?

Figliolin: We expect to see an increase in the N line, for example. We have seen that during Broncos games there is an increase in traffic on this line, so we are adding a car on the N line on Friday to accommodate this potential influx.

What does RTD want passengers to know before boarding their train on opening day?

Figliolin: I encourage everyone to sign up for our service alerts on our website. They will inform you by SMS or e-mail in the event of a change of service.

We really want everyone to plan ahead and expect longer lines and bigger crowds. For this purpose we have a mobile ticketing application which is also available on our Apple and Android devices so you can skip the long queue at the vending machine and simply tap your ticket on your phone.

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I also want to add that we are still under a federal mask mandate, so when you take the train to the game and home, please continue to wear your mask. The mandate runs until April 18.

How important is it that everyone feels safe when traveling through certain city center terminals?

Figliolin: We really want people to have a positive experience, so we encourage everyone to plan ahead and download the Transit Watch app to ensure that if they see something, say something and we can allocate resources to ensure we can resolve this situation quickly.

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Jose P. Rogers