Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Thursday, September 16, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO FASTRACKS
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Sarah Bramwell 303-866-6323
Owens: Proposal is "more tax than tracks."
(DENVER) – Gov. Bill Owens today announced his opposition to FasTracks, citing
data that the ballot proposal would do little to improve mobility in the metro
"FasTracks is more tax than tracks. Mass transit is an important element of a balanced
transportation plan but the reality is that Fastracks isn't fast or balanced. It is a multi-
billion dollar tax increase with negligible benefits to our transportation system and air
quality," Owens said.
The Governor referenced specific concerns, including:
"For its extraordinary cost, FasTracks provides little overall improvement
even during peak hours. While there would be some increased transit use on
specific corridors, FasTracks has a remarkably small impact on total trips
system wide," Owens said.
- By the year 2025, even if FasTracks is built, only 4.1 percent of all peak-hour
trips will be carried by mass transit. Without FasTracks, 2.7 percent of all peak-
hour trips would still be on mass transit. (DRCOG Review of RTD FasTracks Plan, page 24. Chart Attached.
- If FasTracks is built, daily transit ridership in 2025 is estimated at 357,000 trips
per day. But even without FasTracks, the estimate is still 285,000 trips per day.
With FasTracks, the increased number of daily trips on mass transit increases by
only 72,000. (DRCOG Review, page 23. Chart attched.)
- FasTracks has a minimal impact on the daily vehicle-miles-traveled by the year
2025. With FasTracks, daily vehicle-miles-traveled is estimated at 95,066,000.
Without FasTracks, daily VMT is estimated at 95,540,000, a change of less than
500,000 vehicle miles. (DRCOG Review, page 23 Chart attached.)
- FasTracks has virtually no impact on highway speeds in 2025. In four of the
FasTrack corridors, there is no change in the vehicle operating speeds; only a one-
mph increase in four other corridors; and a three-mph increase in one corridor.
(DRCOG Review, page 22.)
Owens also questioned why FasTracks failed to fully fund transit improvements on the
U.S. 36 corridor. FasTracks provides only a quarter of the funding for the Bus Rapid
Transit (BRT) construction on U.S. 36.
FasTracks relies on the state providing an additional $200 million for BRT,
funds the state does not have.
- From DRCOG Review, page 7: "Funding for the complete construction of the
BRT facility is not included in the FasTracks plan. FasTracks will provide
funding for five median BRT stations and $66 million toward the construction of
the BRT/HOV lanes. The $66 million is approximately one-fourth of the
estimated cost of constructing BRT lanes in the corridor."
"FasTracks shortchanges the U.S. 36 corridor," Owens said. "One has to wonder why
RTD does not want to fully fund one of the most viable transit corridors in the metro
area. Residents expecting to be served by Bus Rapid Transit on the U.S. 36 corridor
should be forewarned that FasTracks will not provide such service."
FasTracks allocates $791.4 million to the U.S. 36 corridor, but the lion's share goes to
diesel rail. Bus Rapid Transit would carry many more daily passengers (16,900) than
diesel rail (8,600 to 10,100), but BRT receives very little funding from FasTracks.
The Governor also cited the following concerns:
"I support sensible mass transit," Owens concluded. "I was one of
the main supporters of the multi-modal project we now know as T-REX. By the year
2025, the Southeast Corridor line built as part of T-REX could be carrying over
50,000 passengers a day, far more than any of the lines proposed by FasTracks. I
believe that transit options could be viable in other corridors as well. For
example, Bus Rapid Transit could be a cost- effective addition to U.S. 36."
To fund such transportation improvements, Owens suggested the concept of Regional
Transportation Authorities, an idea first presented to the Legislature last session.
"I don't believe a massive build-out of mass transit, including nearly 80 miles of diesel
rail, is the answer. Instead, we should consider authorizing Regional Transportation
Authorities, which could evaluate and address transportation needs on a corridor-by-
corridor basis", Owens said.
Archives Homepage |
State Homepage | Department Homepage