May 22, 2012

Colo. to build $54.5M BRT line

The City of Fort Collins, Colo. received $54.5 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for a new MAX bus rapid transit (BRT) line expected to reduce commuting times and traffic congestion along College Avenue and spur economic development in the heart of the Mason Corridor.

The Mason Corridor is a five-mile, north-south byway. It combines the MAX BRT corridor with a bicycle and pedestrian trail. The corridor will help create opportunities for new mixed-use and transit oriented developments that avoid sprawl and enhance sustainability and livability. Nearly two-thirds of area jobs are located within a half-mile of the corridor, which includes Colorado State University and its veterinary teaching hospital, the federal Natural Resource Research Laboratory headquarters and local government offices.

The BRT is also expected to help revitalize the downtown shopping district by improving access to the area. To that end, a new university student housing center and a third new apartment building are under construction, and developers are purchasing land along the corridor for future commercial and residential projects.

In addition, the FTA is also making almost $3.9 million available for the project through its Bus and Bus Facilities grant program. These funds supplement about $11 million awarded in FY2010 for project planning and related work, bringing the total federal commitment to about $69.4 million, or roughly 80% of the total project. The City of Fort Collins, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State University and the Downtown Development Authority are contributing the remaining funds toward the $87 million BRT project.

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