Infrastructure in Boulder
Located in the middle of the United States, Boulder is conveniently accessible from both coasts. Three airports, multiple highways, an efficient public transportation system, and one of the nation’s best pedestrian/biking trail networks allow for easy travel for employees, clients and visitors.
Boulder is easily accessible by major highways. U.S. Highways 36 and 93 allow quick travel to Colorado’s major north-south (I-25) and east-west (I-70) interstates. Other highways serving Boulder include:
- CO State Hwy 119 to Longmont and the mountains
- CO State Hwy 7 to eastern Boulder County and US Hwy 287
Numerous arterial streets connect Boulder with neighboring communities and northwestern metro Denver. Approximate drive times include:
- Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont: 15 minutes via local highways and arterial streets
- Broomfield, Erie, Superior: 15 minutes via local highways and arterial streets
- Downtown Denver: 45 minutes via US 36 and 1-25
- Denver International Airport: 45 minutes via the Northwest Parkway
- Vail, Colorado: 2 hours via Hwy 93 and I-70
Boulder ranks second in the nation for public transportation ridership. Boulder is committed to building “complete streets” and providing employees, residents, and visitors with options for getting into and around town.
- Regional Transit: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides affordable local, regional and express bus service throughout metro Denver, including Boulder County. Current construction to be completed in 2016 on U.S. Highway 36 will provide a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in and out of Boulder. Boulder operates several Park-and-Ride facilities for commuters.
- Boulder Buses: Boulder’s Community Transit Network is a fleet of buses that transports passengers throughout Boulder and connects with regional lines. Passengers can pay standard fares or use a variety of passes, including the Eco Pass, to ride. Special services are also available for sports fans and bicycle riders, as well as discounted fares for frequent RTD users, senior citizens, riders with disabilities and commuters.
Pedestrian and Bicycle
With a solid infrastructure of multi-use paths and bike lanes, both walking and biking are popular options for people to get around the City of Boulder.
- Walking: Designated as a Gold-level Walk Friendly Community, Boulder has a national reputation as a pedestrian-friendly community. The pedestrian-only Pearl Street Mall and extensive network of multi-use paths and hiking trails are Boulder icons that attract people from all over the country and world. The City of Boulder also supports a wide range of other initiatives to encourage and support walking throughout the community.
- Biking: Boulder is committed to biking after decades of community efforts and planning. The Boulder Creek Path and its connecting network of biking trails allow travel in and around almost anywhere in Boulder without relying on a car. Most of the city’s 28 miles of paved trails are safely off-road, while an additional 300 miles are dedicated as bike lanes on major streets. The City of Boulder’s dedicated bikeways include on-street bike lanes, contra-flow bike lanes, designated bike routes, paved shoulders, multi-use paths and soft-surface paths.
The City of Boulder does have access to railway infrastructure, including:
- Freight Service: The BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, both Class I railroads, provide freight service in Metro Denver, with nearby stops in Longmont and Denver. Both companies are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation on potential rail infrastructure improvements in the state – the BNSF/UP Front Range Railroad Infrastructure Study.
- Passenger Service: Passenger service in Metro Denver is available on Amtrak via the California Zephyr route, which connects Chicago to San Francisco and follows a scenic path through the plains and the Rocky Mountains. Amtrak service is based out of Denver Union Station, which underwent a redevelopment plan to transform it into a regional transportation hub where light rail, buses, and passenger rail converge.
Electricity and Natural Gas
Electricity and natural gas service in the City of Boulder is provided by Xcel Energy. Commercial and industrial rates are competitive with other metropolitan areas.
Boulder and the state are committed to renewable energy. State law requires utilities to produce 30% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Options are in place to help businesses and residents move toward a more sustainable mix of energy, including the following resources:
The City of Boulder and its partners offer a variety of commercial energy efficiency programs, services, and financial incentives for your business and/or commercial property. These offerings are a part of the community’s commitment to climate action and are funded by a local Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax.
Water and Wastewater
The City of Boulder’s Utilities Division manages water, wastewater and flood control.
Boulder’s location in the Mountain Time Zone makes it possible to have same day, real-time connections around the globe. The metro Denver area is a national center for telecommunications and home to Qualcomm, Zayo Group (Boulder headquarters), Verizon Business, Sprint and Level 3 Communications.
Businesses have many choices for telecommunications services and the advantage of an extensive fiber optic network, including these top ten Colorado telecommunication companies (based on revenue)*:
*Source: Denver Business Journal, 2014 Book of Lists
A number of internet service providers (ISPs) serve Boulder. The national ISPs operating regionally include:
In 2014, the Boulder residents will vote on a ballot measure that would give the city the authority to offer broadband services, either directly or in partnership with a third party provider. The goal is to expand the reach of the fiber-optic network that already links the city, the University of Colorado and the federal labs. For more information, check out Boulder Broadband Matters.