"We see a way forward to [build] all of FasTracks with the exception of the Northwest Rail Line. We really don't have much more to do—only two more lines, that's it. So I tell people to keep the faith as we look at the best mobility options for that area," he adds.
The views are divided in Louisville, a burgeoning city along the currently delayed Northwest Rail Line between Denver and Boulder, according to Mayor Bob Muckle. People are excited that the U.S. 36 bus lanes are under construction from Pecos Street in Denver to the Table Mesa Park-n-Ride in Boulder and will be complete by the end of 2015, notes Muckle. "On the other hand, in 2004 voters voted on a Northwest Rail Line with a stop in downtown Louisville. That is currently unfunded and in limbo, and there's a lot of frustration with that. This is a huge issue for businesses up here," he adds.
Meanwhile, RTD is sponsoring a $2-million Northwest Mobility Study aimed at helping the communities in the corridor identify possible interim steps until a commuter rail line can be built.
"It's an opportunity for us in the Northwest Corridor to come together and look at other options like bus rapid transit or extending commuter rail in phases," says George Gerstle, Boulder County transportation director. "We have all had to take a deep breath and figure out our next steps."
The first meeting of the Northwest Mobility Study will take place in May, with an aggressive one-year schedule established to reach an agreement.
RTD FasTracks Top 10 List for 2012
1. West Rail Line Testing Completed first systems tests along the West Rail Line. Integrated testing continued until opening day, April 26.
2. I-225 Light Rail Line Contract Awarded a contract to Kiewit Infrastructure Group to complete the full I-225 Rail Line by the end of 2015.
3. I-225 Segment One Construction Began construction on the first segment of the I-225 rail line from Nine Mile to Iliff through a highway/light rail construction partnership with the Colorado Dept. of Transportation.
4. Northwest Rail Segment One Construction Began construction on the first segment of the Northwest Line to Westminster.
5. Eagle P3 Bridges Started construction on 20 bridges and structures on the East Line, Gold Line and first segment of Northwest Rail, also called the Eagle P3 project.
6. North Metro Design Began final design on North Metro Line up to 72nd Ave.
7. Denver Union Station Interior Renovation Awarded a contract to Union Station Alliance to develop the inside of the station building into a boutique hotel with retail space and restaurants.
8. U.S. 36 BRT Construction Started construction on the U.S. 36 Bus Rapid Transit project with CDOT.
9. FasTracks Internal Savings Account RTD board approved a FasTracks Internal Savings Account to help fund FasTracks projects that are not fully funded. The savings account comprises eight items expected to generate nearly $300 million by 2017. The funds would be used to build the North Metro Line to at least 72nd Avenue and complete RTD's commitment on the U.S. 36 BRT project.
10. Northwest Area Mobility Study Established a process for the Northwest Area Mobility Study with northwest area stakeholders.