April 26, 2012

Denver RTD won’t pursue FasTracks tax

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) board of directors indicated at a meeting tonight that they will not pursue a 2012 sales and use tax election for the FasTracks transit expansion program. The board also gave staff direction to submit a revised plan with alternate assumptions.

Over the past several months, RTD has evaluated technical, financial and economic information, and input from regional stakeholders and the general public.

“The RTD board realizes that while economic conditions are slowly but steadily improving in the Denver metro area, the timing is not right for a 2012 ballot initiative,” said RTD Board Chair Lee Kemp. “We remain committed to continuing to work with our regional partners to complete FasTracks sooner rather than later. Signs of progress will continue to take shape around the region.”

Several FasTracks projects are currently under construction or under contract to begin construction or final design:

•  West Rail Line to Jeffco Government Center (scheduled to open in May 2013).

•  East Rail Line to Denver International Airport.

•  Gold Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge.

•  Northwest Rail Line (first segment to south Westminster).

•  I-225 Rail Line (first segment to Iliff).

•  U.S. 36 Bus Rapid Transit Project (with the Colo. Department of Transportation).

•  Denver Union Station Redevelopment.

•  North Metro Rail Line (final design to National Western Stock Show pending).

RTD will continue to work aggressively to seek alternative funding sources for the program including grants, public-private partnerships and unsolicited proposals. The board will continue to explore pursuing a sales and use tax election in the future when the time is right for the region.

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