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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Denver RTD advances FasTracks program measures


Last week, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver’s board approved several measures affecting the FasTracks program.

Members blessed two complementary financial plans for the program, one of which assumes the passage of a 0.4 percent sales and use tax increase beginning in January 2010, and one that assumes the passage of the same tax increase starting in January 2013. The plans preserve the board’s capability to continue considering all potential scenarios for completing FasTracks, members said in a prepared statement.

The program’s costs have skyrocketed because of rising material prices while funds have plummeted due to slumping sales tax revenue.

In addition, the board approved final environmental evaluations of FasTracks’ Southeast, Southwest and Central Corridor extensions, marking the end of the environmental process for each route and enabling the extensions to enter the design phase. Denver RTD still must complete environmental studies for two more corridors.

The FasTracks program calls for building 122 miles of commuter- and light-rail lines, and 18 miles of bus rapid-transit lines; redeveloping Denver’s Union Station; and adding 21,000 new parking spaces.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/26/2010