June 16, 2016
With RTD opening four rail lines (A, B, G and R) and launching the new Flatiron Flyer Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, 2016 is a historic year for transportation in the Denver metro region. These lines are complemented by the prior completion of other FasTracks commitments, such as the West (W) Line and Denver Union Station. In the US 36 corridor, we have seen an exponential increase in ridership on the new Flatiron Flyer, and with certainty the B Line (formerly Northwest Rail) will impact movement between Denver and the US 36 corridor. But, even with this progress, many are curious as to when the entire FasTracks program will come to completion.
The FasTracks program still has a number of components that need to be built, but due to the perfect storm of economic decline and increased construction costs, RTD does not have the financial capacity to proceed at this time. For some time, RTD has said that the B Line would not have full funding until at least 2042, but if 2015 projections hold true, some funding for remaining FasTracks commitments may be available beginning as early as 2028.
While the funding for the remaining projects is further down the road, knowing that there is a possibility of partial funding coming 12 years earlier does provide a glimmer of hope. Once completed, FasTracks will deliver a robust, technologically-advanced transit system.
Currently, the Central Business Corridor Extension, Southwest Line Extension, Northwest Rail from Westminster to Longmont and North Metro from 124th to SH 7 remain outstanding.