Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Udall, Bennet: Federal Government Will Honor its Commitment on FasTracks

West, Gold and East Lines Each to Receive $40 M in Grants from the Federal Transit Administration

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced that the Denver Regional Transportation District will receive funding grants for FasTracks – as promised in the Obama Administration’s budget proposal. The grants, which are made at the Administration’s discretion, are from a pool of $1.6 billion approved by Congress this year. The West, Gold and East lines each are slated to receive $40 million.

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff announced in a speech this morning that he plans to move forward with grants for FasTracks and other major transit projects, despite budget uncertainty. Udall and Bennet had made the case to Rogoff that the federal government must keep its promise to share in the cost for FasTracks.

“Bottom line: This is a crucial investment in the Denver metro region’s economy and quality of life – it will create jobs, provide a solution to traffic backups and help workers and visitors get across town quickly,” Udall said. “Denver-area voters spoke up when they supported FasTracks. The federal government’s partnership is critical to ensure that RTD can keep moving forward on schedule. I want to thank Administrator Rogoff for acknowledging how important keeping FasTracks on schedule is to the metro region.”

“This investment will help expand job opportunities, ease commutes and improve travel to and from the airport for visitors and residents in the Denver metro region,” Bennet said. “I’m glad the Federal Transportation Administration is honoring its commitment to help RTD with these vital commuter and light rail lines. I look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Rogoff and RTD to ensure these projects are completed on schedule.”

FasTracks includes 122 miles of rail and 18 miles of Bus Rapid Transit, Park-n-Ride expansions, improved bus service, and bicycle and pedestrian access improvements to stations across the Denver metro area. In November 2004, voters approved a 4/10 of 1 percent local sales tax initiative to pay 40 percent of the cost.