RTD vows to focus on North Metro funding

Tammy Kranz
Posted 9/14/12

The staff at the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has vowed that securing funding for the North Metro Line up to 72nd Avenue is a “top …

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RTD vows to focus on North Metro funding


The staff at the Regional Transportation District (RTD) has vowed that securing funding for the North Metro Line up to 72nd Avenue is a “top priority.”

Barry Gore, District K representative on the Regional Transportation District Board, said the announcement came during the board’s Sept. 4 meeting.

“It is nice to know RTD understands we expect equity of service on the North Metro and Northwest lines,” he said.

Funding is already in place for the first part of the North Metro Line, between Denver Union Station and the National Western Stock Show. The construction of that segment is expected to be completed by 2017. RTD Project Manager Jane Donovan said the cost to build the line from the stock show to 72nd could be about $150 million.

RTD officials have said the build out of FasTracks in the north doesn’t look financially possible until the 2040s.

The board unanimously approved a $10.4 million contract with AECOM for final design of the North Metro Line from downtown Denver to the 72nd station during its Aug. 28 meeting.

Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams said the design approval was a step in the right direction, but that people in the north are very frustrated with the entire FasTracks situation.

“I think it’s great they approved the design, but that does not get the track built,” she said. “Our taxpayers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars basically to fund the south lines, and we don’t even have one line.”

The board also approved an amended regional transportation plan at its Aug. 28 meeting. The plan identifies FasTracks projects that can be completed by 2035 with funding currently available.

Gore was the lone dissenting vote on the amended plan.

“I knew the measure would pass, but I wanted to send a message that it’s not enough,” he said. “Based on the snapshot, we don’t get any service to 72nd until the 2030-35 timeframe.”

Gore said the plan does include RTD-submitted federal grant applications for an extension in the south. However, he said, RTD has said no work on that extension will be built until after the North Metro Line reaches to at least 72nd.

North area leaders have criticized RTD for putting its efforts and funding behind extensions before the entire FasTracks has been built out.

“Extensions were never supposed to be built before the lines,” Williams said. “They need to put (that money) to our line to get us to 72nd.”

Because federal grants are given out based on ridership numbers, once the line reaches 72nd, RTD would be in a better position to receive funding to help build more of the line.

Williams encouraged residents to contact their local RTD representatives to make sure they vote in residents’ best interest. She said voters should do their homework prior to casting votes for the RTD board members.

“Pay attention to who is running for this board because these people will make or break it for us,” she said. “We need someone who is going to stay and fight for us.”


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