Employee Trip Reduction Program to be Discussed this Summer

The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a rulemaking hearing regarding the Employee Traffic Reduction Program from Aug. 18 to 20.

The ETRP is a new rule that is being proposed by two organizations, the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) and Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) and was included in Gov. Jared Polis’ Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap.

This rule would set goals for large employers to achieve reductions in the number of employees who drive alone, or “single-occupant vehicle” (SOV) employee commutes. A program that offers telecommuting, public transit, ridesharing or other means not only benefits air quality, it can also improve employee wellness, retention and company culture. The Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) will take the rule under consideration in May 2021, requesting a rulemaking hearing be set for August 2021.

Commuting Solutions is working with partnering Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs), Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) and the Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCOG) to provide comments to the draft rule.

Learn more by visiting the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division’s website.

Colorado House of Representatives Pass Front Range Passenger Rail District Bill

Earlier this month, the House passed Senate Bill SB 21-238, which would create a Front Range Passenger Rail District. The bill was recently sent to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk for approval.

SB 21-238 will create a Front Range Passenger Rail District. This bill would create a district for planning, designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining a passenger rail system, specify the territory, governing structure, powers and duties of the district.

According to the bill, the district is specifically required to work collaboratively with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to ensure interconnectivity with any passenger rail system operated by or for the RTD and with Amtrak.

The area the district comprises of extends from Wyoming to New Mexico and includes:

  • The entirety of the City and County of Broomfield and City and County of Denver
  • All areas within Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Huerfano, Jefferson, Larimer, Las Animas, Pueblo and Weld Counties within the territory of a metropolitan planning organization (MPO)
  • All areas within Huerfano, Las Animas, and Pueblo counties that are not located within the territory of a MPO and are located within a county precinct that is located wholly or partly within 5 miles of the public right-of-way of interstate highway 25; and
  • All areas within Larimer and Weld counties that are not located within the territory of a MPO and are located within a county precinct that is north of the city of Fort Collins and is located wholly or partly within 5 miles of the public right-of-way of interstate highway 25.

The sponsors of the bill include Senator Leroy Garcia, Senator Rachel Zenziner, Rep. Daneye Esgar and Rep. Matt Gray.

Gov. Jared Polis to sign Colorado Transportation Bill, 21-260

This post has been updated on June 18, 2021 to reflect Gov. Jared Polis signed the transportation bill on June 17. 

Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 21-260, a $5.3 billion transportation bill on Thursday morning, a 10-year plan to build out Colorado’s roads and bridges, create more electric vehicle charging stations,. boost mas transit and mitigate air pollution.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Faith Winter and Representative Matt Gray introduced the transportation bill, which will drive Colorado’s economic comeback, establish a sustainable funding source to improve roads, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expand multimodal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The package will take about $1.5 billion from the state operating budget over the next decade, but it will most rely on new changes including:

  • A road usage fee that would ratchet up annually over 10 years to maximum of 8 cents.
  • 3.5 cents per prearranged ride in a zero-emission vehicle and 7.5 cents for every other vehicle.
  • 6.9 cents for retail deliveries
  • 5.3 cents for each delivery to support a fund to transition government fleets to electric vehicles.
  • Raising the $50 registration fee for electric vehicles with an index that makes EVs equitable to what combustion vehicles pay.
  • Indexing the current $2 fee per day on vehicle rentals to inflation, exempting car-sharing programs.
  • Changing the Statewide Bridge Enterprise to the Statewide Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise, and authorizing its board to impose a fee on diesel and
    retail deliveries.

Fees will kick in starting July 1.

For the first two years, the proposal reduces vehicle registration fees. New fees won’t begin until mid-2022 and will be nominal, costing the average driver about $28 in the first year, and will be spread across all users using the system to bring down costs on people. The fees are estimated to raise $3.8 billion over the next decade.

The bill promotes collaboration between CDOT, the Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Energy Office.

Over the course of the 11-year plan set forth by the bill, nearly $2.8 billion will be generated through new fee revenue and the bill will leverage nearly $1.5 billion in state general fund revenue and stimulus dollars.

A Message from the Executive Director: Historic Times for Transportation Funding

Audrey DeBarros HeadshotHappy June, everyone!

It is crazy to believe we are already halfway through 2021! As we reflect on these last six months, there has been a lot of exciting news in the transportation sector for the northwest metro region!

Just a few days ago, the Colorado Legislature wrapped up the 73rd General Assembly and made it a historic session for the transportation sector!

At state and federal levels, bills have been passed and signed regarding funding and climate change policy which will affect and improve transportation for the region and state.

Senate Bill (SB) 21-260 will diversify how transportation funding is raised and spent in Colorado which will support road repair, expansion to electric vehicle adoption, multimodal, environmental mitigation and much more.

SB 21-238, which was approved by the House and Senate, will create a Front Range Passenger Rail District which will plan, design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain a passenger rail system, specify the territory, governing structure, powers and duties of the district.

We look forward to seeing what the rest of 2021 has in store for the region!

Cheers!

Audrey DeBarros

Executive Director

Employee Trip Reduction Program Rulemaking Process

The Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) will discuss the Employee Trip Reduction Program (ETRP) on Thursday and determine whether there will be a rulemaking hearing this summer.

The ETRP is a new rule that is being proposed by two organizations, the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) and Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), and was included in Gov. Jared Polis’ Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap.

This rule would set goals for large employers to achieve reductions in the number of employees who drive alone, or “single-occupant vehicle” (SOV) employee commutes. A program that offers telecommuting, public transit, ridesharing or other means not only benefits air quality, it can also improve employee wellness, retention and company culture. The Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) will take the rule under consideration in May 2021, requesting a rulemaking hearing be set for August 2021.

Front Range Passenger Rail District Bill Passes the Senate

SB 21-238 was recently introduced and passed the Senate, and if approved, would create a Front Range Passenger Rail District. Recently, Commuting Solutions voiced support for this bill.

This bill would create a district for planning, designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining a passenger rail system, specify the territory, governing structure, powers and duties of the district.

According to the bill, the district is specifically required to work collaboratively with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to ensure interconnectivity with any passenger rail system operated by or for the RTD and with Amtrak.

The area the district comprises of extends from Wyoming to New Mexico and includes:

  • The entirety of the City and County of Broomfield and City and County of Denver
  • All areas within Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Huerfano, Jefferson, Larimer, Las Animas, Pueblo and Weld Counties within the territory of a metropolitan planning organization (MPO)
  • All areas within Huerfano, Las Animas, and Pueblo counties that are not located within the territory of a MPO and are located within a county precinct that is located wholly or partly within 5 miles of the public right-of-way of interstate highway 25; and
    All areas within Larimer and Weld counties that are not located within the territory of a MPO and are located within a county precinct that is north of the city of Fort Collins and is located wholly or partly within 5 miles of the public right-of-way of interstate highway 25.

The sponsors of the bill include Senator Leroy Garcia, Senator Rachel Zenziner, Rep. Daneye Esgar and Rep. Matt Gray.

Senate Bill 21-260 Transportation Bill Passes the Senate

Earlier this week, the Colorado Senate passed Senate Bill 21-260, a $5.3 billion transportation bill to fix roads and bridges, improve transit options, meet the state’s climate goals and future proof the state’s transportation system, with a 20-15 vote.

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Faith Winter and Representative Matt Gray introduced the transportation bill, which will drive Colorado’s economic comeback, establish a sustainable funding source to improve roads, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expand multimodal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

Recently, Commuting Solutions voiced support for the funding of this bill.

According to a release from the Colorado Department of Transportation, the funding will come from a fair and responsible mix of state, federal and fee revenue that reflects all the users and uses of the transportation system.

For the first two years, the proposal reduces vehicle registration fees. New fees won’t begin until mid-2022 and will be nominal, costing the average driver about $28 in the first year, and will be spread across all users using the system to bring down costs on people. The fees are estimated to raise $3.8 billion over the next decade.

The bill promotes collaboration between CDOT, the Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Energy Office.

Over the course of the 11-year plan set forth by the bill, nearly $2.8 billion will be generated through new fee revenue and the bill will leverage nearly $1.5 billion in state general fund revenue and stimulus dollars.

A Message from the Executive Director: May 2021

Earlier this month a new legislative bill was introduced which would be a big benefit to transportation in Colorado!

Senate Bill 21-260 will provide $5.268 billion in transportation funding to fix roads and bridges, improve transit options, meet the state’s climate goals and future proof the state’s transportation system. Commuting Solutions took a position of support for this transformative bill.

The transportation funding bill will save Coloradans money and time spent on the roads, it will create a transportation system that supports the economy and it will establish a sustainable funding source for the transportation system.

The transportation funding bill will save Coloradans money and time spent on the roads, it will create a transportation system that supports the economy and it will establish a sustainable funding source for the transportation system.

Another bill that was recently introduced is Senate Bill 21-238, if approved, would create a Front Range Passenger Rail District. Commuting Solutions voiced approval for this bill, which would create a district for planning, designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining a passenger rail system, specify the territory, governing structure, powers and duties of the district.

I want to thank Colorado legislatures for working hard to create such great bills that will bring so many positives to transportation. We look forward to the partnerships across a local, regional and state level.

Cheers,

Audrey DeBarros, Commuting Solution Executive Director

Transportation Funding Bill to Make its Way to Colorado Legislators

A Legislative Proposal could be making its way to the legislators soon which would address structural issues and modernize how the transportation funding reflects how it is being used.

According to a presentation made in March, nearly $3.9 billion from new fee revenue will modernize and future-proof the transportation system and stabilize funding over the next 11 years.

During Commuting Solutions’ Membership Meeting on March 6, Sen. Faith Winter said the bill could be introduced in the next couple of weeks.

The draft for stakeholder input can be found online.

Colorado House of Representatives Passes RTD Bill

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill on March 7 which aims to boost ridership through the Regional Transportation District (RTD).

House Bill 21-1186 will provide greater flexibility to RTD to lower fares and take advantage of new revenue sources.

The bill will do the following:

  • Remove the requirement for RTD to cover 30% of operating costs through fare revenue. This will allow RTD to reduce fairs in order to boost ridership.
  • Allow RTD to develop district properties for retail, commercial or residential purposes.
  • Allow RTD to contract with nonprofits and local governments to help lower operating costs.

The bill was introduced to the Senate and assigned to the Transportation & Energy Committee on April 9.