DENVER TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

In 1971, the privately owned Denver Tramway Corp. was acquired by the publicly owned Denver Metro Transit, which in 1974 became the Regional Transportation District (RTD), to serve a larger area. This page lists RTD routes which can trace their histories back to Denver Tramway Corp. Some routes were eventually discontinued by RTD. Other routes were restructured going into the 21st Century, and are identified using the more recent numbers and names. And since its formation RTD added many new bus routes, which are not listed.

Horse cars were first operated in Denver in 1871, by the Denver Horse Railroad Co. In 1872, the company was renamed the Denver City Railway Co. A second company began operating in 1888, the Denver Electric & Cable Co. That company introduced an unsuccessful electric streetcar operation. In 1890, a successful electric streetcar operation was introduced on South Broadway. In 1899, the two companies merged into Denver City Tramway, and in 1900, electrification was completed. These lines were narrow gauge. In 1914, Denver City Tramway was reorganized as the Denver Tramway Corp.

The Denver & Intermountain Railroad was an interurban line operating between Denver and Golden, evolving into Denver Tramway bus route 84, and finally RTD route 9.

Only Denver local routes are listed. Not listed are express routes, all of which were created after the 1971 public takeover. Also not listed are suburban and regional routes identified with letters, and Boulder routes numbered in the 200's, and Longmont routes numbered in the 300's. These routes were previously operated by private companies other than Denver Tramway.

Complete information is not available for the Denver transit route histories. Information is complete for conversion dates from streetcars to trolleybuses. Dashed lines indicate routes converted directly from streetcars to motor buses. And except for the East 28th Avenue route which went from trolleybuses to motor buses in 1948, all trolleybuses were converted to motor buses in May and June, 1955.

Former route numbers are listed in three columns, according to the route numbers as of 1930, 1950, and 1973 respectively.

Denver Tramway basically had a typical hub and spoke route network, focusing on downtown Denver. And for routes operating on numbered avenues, route numbers usually corresponded to the avenue number. In the 1970's, the bus route network was transformed into more of a grid system. Although many routes diverted off the grid streets to serve downtown Denver, most notably during the rush hours. During the 1970's, all local routes were assigned new route numbers corresponding to the street address number, in hundreds. As in most cities, a standard block is 100 address numbers, and numbered streets correspond to those address numbers, in 100's. Broadway is 0 east and west, and has a bus route number 0 (zero).



Route   Route                     Denver Tramway  Trolley  Motor
Number  Name                      Route Numbers   Bus      Bus

  0 South Broadway                 3   3   3       6/ 4/50  1955
  1 West 1st Avenue               75  58  50       5/12/46  1955
  1 Knox Court                    75  75  75      --------   9/  /49
  1 Kalamath                      50  50  50       5/12/46  1955
  1 Galapago                      64  50  50       5/12/46  1955
  1 East 1st Avenue                4   4   4      --------  1940
  3 Alameda Crosstown             76  59  59      New Bus   1929
  3 Franklin                      29   5   5      --------   6/ 4/50
  6 East 6th Avenue                6   6   6      11/ 7/48  1955
  6 North Pecos                   39  23   5      --------  1940
  8 North Broadway/Huron          74  66  60      New Bus   1929
  9 West 10th Avenue              84  84  84      --------   7/ 2/50
 10 East 12th Avenue              13  13  13       6/ 2/40  1955
 10 East 11th Avenue              11  11   6       6/ 2/40  1955
 11 East Mississippi              58  22  17      --------  1930
 11 West Exposition                       50      New Bus
 12 North Washington              74  73  73      --------   7/23/28
 12 North Downing                 73  73  73      New Bus   1929
 12 South Downing                 73  73  73      New Bus   1929
 14 West Florida                          17      New Bus
 15 East Colfax                   14  14  14       6/ 4/50  1955
 15 Aurora                        14  21  14      --------  10/10/32
 16 West Colfax                   61  61  64      --------   9/  /49
 20 East 17th Avenue              40  40  40       6/ 6/48  1955
 21 Evans Crosstown                8   8   8      10/  /49  1955
 24 University Crosstown               9   9      New Bus
 28 28th Avenue                   28  28  28      11/ 1/47  1955
 28 Park Hill                         41  28      New Bus   1930
 28 West 29th Avenue              29  11   8       6/ 2/40  1948
 28 West 23rd Avenue              23  23   4      --------  1940
 29 Riverbend                         60  60      New Bus
 30 South Federal                         60      New Bus
 31 North Federal                         55      New Bus
 32 West 32nd Avenue               8   5  28      --------   7/ 2/50
 32 East 22nd Avenue              23  50  50      --------  1940
 36 Fort Logan                        60  60      New Bus
 38 West 38th Avenue              38  13  13       6/ 2/40  1955
 38 Stout                         62  64  64      --------   9/  /49
 38 East 38th Avenue              64  64  64      --------   9/  /49
 40 Colorado Blvd Crosstown           15  15      New Bus
 44 West 44th Avenue              28  28   6      11/ 1/47  1955
 44 East 40th Avenue              61  61  75      --------   9/  /49
 47 Coliseum Crosstown (disc.)    66  66  60      --------  1940
 48 East 48th Avenue                  76  23      New Bus
 52 West 52nd Avenue                  23   5      New Bus
 52 South Pearl                    8   8   8      10/  /49  1955
 65 Monaco Crosstown                      19      New Bus
 73 Quebec Crosstown              15  19          --------   6/ 7/30
100 Kipling Crosstown                     16      New Bus


Denver-Golden Interurban Routes

In 1893, the Denver & Intermountain Railroad completed a steam powered interurban line between Denver and Golden. In 1901, Denver City Tramway formed a subsidiary Denver & Northwestern Railroad, which constructed interurban lines from Denver to Leyden and to Golden. Those lines were completed in 1903 and 1904 respectively. In 1909, Denver City Tramway acquired the Denver & Intermountain Railroad and electrified the route. The Denver & Intermountain Railroad would be the only standard gauge electric railway in Denver, as all the local lines were narrow gauge. In 1914, Denver City Tramway was reorganized as the Denver Tramway Corp.

These routes were eventually assigned numbers by Denver Tramway. Route 81 was a short turn version of route 82, operating between Denver and Arvada. Route 82 was the Denver & Northwestern interurban route to Leyden, which was eventually cut back, no comparable route presently exists. That route had existed more importantly to transport coal from Leyden to the Denver Tramway power plant. Route 83 was the Denver & Northwestern interurban route to Golden, and route 84 was the Denver & Intermountain Railroad route to Golden. Two routes to Golden were considered unnecessary at the time, so route 83 was cut back, leaving the more direct route 84 to serve Golden. The Denver & Northwestern interurban routes exited Denver via 32nd Avenue, which had a local streetcar and later bus route. The interurban railway service was converted to buses on 7/2/50. Under the RTD route numbering system based on address numbers and numbered streets, the 32nd Avenue local bus route became RTD route 32.


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