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RTD launches bus-on-shoulder operations for Flatiron Flyer on U.S. 36

RTD's Flatiron Flyer bus rapid transit (BRT) buses are now able to drive on the shoulder of U.S. 36 during certain traffic situations.

Buses will be able to drive on the shoulder under the following conditions:
• The traffic speed in the general purpose lanes is less than 35 mph—any time of day.
• The bus cannot exceed the speed of general purpose traffic by more than 15 mph, with the maximum speed being 35 mph.

Only RTD buses will be allowed to travel on the shoulders, at the discretion of the bus operator. Shoulder use for emergency responders and broken-down vehicles will continue to be a priority.


As a part of the U.S. 36 Express Lanes project with the Colorado Department of Transportation, the shoulder of the highway was expanded to 12 feet wide and built to withstand the weight of a bus.

“The road improvements to the shoulder thanks to the US 36 Express Lanes project will provide an additional resource for our buses to keep moving efficiently,” said Dave Genova, RTD general manager and CEO. “Being able to utilize the shoulder during traffic congestion will allow the Flatiron Flyer to continue to provide reliable service at all times.”

Currently, bus-on-shoulder operations will only be allowed on U.S. 36. However, a recent law passed by the Colorado State Legislature could allow bus-on-shoulder options to be added to other highways, if work is done to expand the shoulders.

Flatiron Flyer service is comprised of six all-stop and express routes that operate along the U.S. 36 corridor. The BRT service runs every 3-15 minutes, depending on time of day and location. Flatiron Flyer service encompasses 18 miles of express and high-frequency bus service between downtown Denver and Boulder, with six stations along U.S. 36.