The Regional Transportation District Board of Directors decided not to pursue a tax increase in November that would have funded a hybrid rail/bus line from Denver to Longmont. All 12 members of the RTD board said the timing is wrong for any kind of tax hike and too many questions remain about the plan.
The hybrid option would have required voters to double the 0.4 percent sales tax in November. RTD acknowledged that current funding for the entire FasTracks system is short of earlier projections and, over the past year, costs on the northwest line especially have skyrocketed. Without the additional funding, the rail line into Longmont via Boulder will not be completed until 2042.
Board members said they continue to support commuter rail to the northwest corridor, but their constituents had too many questions about when the project would be finished as well as the viability of BRT. Early polling indicated the proposal had little support within the RTD District. Local officials’ reactions to the Board’s vote varied. Some like Longmont Mayor Pro Tem Gabe Santos remain skeptical and say the voters were betrayed. Others, like Mayor Dennis Coombs say RTD just needs another year to create a plan that voters will support.