House passes bill to establish the framework for the development of Front Range Rail
DENVER, CO– The House today passed Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and Rep. Matt Gray’s bill to lay the groundwork for the development of a passenger rail to connect Colorado from our Northern to our Southern borders. The bill passed by a vote of 40-24.
“This bill ensures that Colorado has a framework in place to take advantage of federal transportation funds efficiently and effectively,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Developing a passenger rail system from our Northern to our Southern border will keep Colorado connected and improve our state’s economy for years to come. I’m proud that the House voted to set in motion a project that has been a Southern Colorado priority for years.”
“Colorado is in dire need of more and better transportation options to keep our state competitive and connected,” said Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “Front Range Rail has the potential to revitalize economies across the front range, improve congestion on our state’s highways and lower our state’s emissions. The bill we passed today gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality.”
SB21-238 would create the Front Range Passenger Rail District and tasks it with conducting the necessary research, development, construction, operation and maintenance of the Front Range Rail system, which would connect Coloradans living and working along the I-25 corridor. The bill outlines funding options, and authorizes the District to pursue a sales and use tax that would be subject to voter approval.
The District would be overseen by a board of directors that would be instructed to work closely with RTD and Amtrak to ensure the passenger rail and transit systems are compatible and work well for travelers. The bill ensures Colorado will be in position to benefit from the federal government’s proposed investment in railroad development.