FASTRACKS YES — FASTAX NO
April 27, 2011
by John Kiljan
At a their meeting last night, the RTD Board of Directors voted 13 to 1 to delay a vote for an increased sales tax to support the metro-wide system of rapid transit improvements known as FasTracks.
The Gold Line remains unaffected. When District L’s board member, Lorraine Anderson, was asked if there would be any delay in the construction of the Gold Line in Arvada because of the vote, she said there would not.
“This decision has absolutely no effect on the Eagle P3 Project known as the Gold Line and the East Corridor Line to DIA. RTD is still on schedule to receive the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Association sometime in the next month. The Gold Line is scheduled to be open in 2016,” she said in a written release.”
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
RTD’s website at http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/main_1 has the formal resolution and press release. The full text of Lorraine’s release is listed here:
Last evening, the RTD Board of Directors made the decision not to pursue a ballot initiative in 2011 to increase the RTD sales tax by four-tenths of a cent to complete FasTracks by 2020. The decision was difficult for the board, but by all indications, it would not have passed in an off-year election. We also heard strongly from the business community that they had no funds available to wage an effective campaign. More importantly, the general public has not recovered sufficiently from the recent economic downturn and the Board is sensitive to the economic conditions of our community.
This decision has absolutely no effect on the Eagle P3 Project known as the Gold Line and the East Corridor Line to DIA. RTD is still on schedule to receive the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Association sometime in the next month. The Gold Line is scheduled to be open in 2016.
Because of the unique contract with Denver Transit Partners, RTD was able to achieve some savings over estimates to build the East and Gold Line Corridors. The RTD Board decided to use those savings on other FasTrack corridors to pay for improvements that are currently unfunded. $90 million was given to the US36 corridor to help complete a segment of the BRT System. $90 Million was allotted to the I225 Corridor to leverage work that CDOT is doing in the corridor. $90 Million will be used to start construction on the North-Metro Corridor that could position the corridor for grants and a possible Public Private Partnership similar to the Gold Line in the future.
In voting for the resolution, I urged the Board of Directors and Staff to continue to pursue grants and innovative opportunities such as the Eagle P3 project (Gold Line) for all FasTrack Corridors. The Board also needs to continue to work the Northern and North-western communities to take advantage of opportunities that will ensure that these corridors are completed sooner than later. I also encouraged staff to continue to maintain and improve service delivery for RTD’s Base System. We need to work harder and smarter in the future. I strongly believe that the Board of Directors and Staff are capable and willing to give the citizens of Metropolitan area an efficient transit system. — Lorraine Anderson
Johb Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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