The planned FasTracks commuter train that would connect Broomfield, Boulder and Longmont to Downtown Denver may get the ax.
Because of estimated cost increases, the Regional Transportation District is looking into not building the Northwest line, and increasing bus services instead.
RTD reported that estimated costs have almost doubled, now reaching more than $1.7 billion dollars with the completion date to be pushed back from 2020 to 2024, and thats assuming voters pass a .04 percent sales tax increase to fund the beleaguered FasTracks project.
This is a very complicated corridor, said Scott Reed, an RTD spokesman. We knew that all along and we said that [the cost estimate] would change as we completed that negotiation process, and as we completed more engineering.
Reed said the planned Northwest line is different than other lines because it has to be built on Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways rail lines.
He said when RTD negotiated with the Railway and completed engineering estimates, costs soared.
Thats why were going to our stakeholders and saying, 'Whats the logical approach? said Reed.
RTD presented alternatives, including expanding Bus Rapid Transit, which would run more frequently and carry more passengers than commuter rail.
The infrastructure itself is not whats important, its how can we best move people, said Reed.
RTD presented the new options to stakeholders this week, including Broomfield Mayor Pat Quinn.
It doesnt surprise me that were looking at bus rapid transit. Do I like it? No, I dont like it at all, said Quinn. But the cost numbers are so high considering the estimated ridership, that I think we would be negligent if we didnt look at other alternatives?
He said he would be talking to local employers to get feedback before giving his decision to RTD.
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyIf you have a news tip or a follow-up to this story, e-mail us.Copyright 2012 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.