Members met with transit officials, inspected projects aimed at improving safety and reducing emissions on Colorado’s roads
DENVER, CO – Members of the Transportation Legislation Review Committee (TLRC) recently toured sites across the Front Range and Western Slope to learn more about multiple projects underway to improve safety and reduce emissions on Colorado’s roads.
“Strengthening our transportation infrastructure will make it quicker, safer, and cheaper for Coloradans to get to the places they want to go,” said Chair Meg Froelich, D-Englewood. “From travel to the Denver airport to bussing around our mountain resort towns, we’re spending a couple days exploring all of the transportation options that Colorado has to offer to mark our progress and discuss future improvements that can save Coloradans money on transportation.”
“Coloradans depend on a robust and functioning transportation system to get where they need to go, and the TLRC has been hard at work this interim on legislation to improve those systems,” TLRC member Kevin Priola, D-Henderson, said. “It’s critical for us to see the impacts of our work to improve Colorado’s roads up close and in-person, and I look forward to using what we learned these past two days to craft future initiatives to help Colorado’s transportation system reach its full potential.”
"All Coloradans deserve to move around the state safely and conveniently, and we can accomplish that by making more transportation choices,” said TLRC member Rep. Stephanie Vigil, D-Colorado Springs. “Public transit is not only a great way to reduce carbon emissions, but it also creates more opportunities for every budget and every lifestyle. Our tour around Colorado is helping us improve our transportation infrastructure to make it easier and cheaper for people to get around.”
On Thursday TLRC members embarked on the tour aboard a bus from the state’s new “Bustang” fleet, Colorado’s intercity public transportation system which is growing quickly with an infusion of state funds from SB22-180, sponsored by TLRC Vice Chair Senator Faith Winter, D-Broomfield The tour began with an inspection of Denver International Airport facilities, including a tour of DIA’s ‘green fleet’. DIA is a recipient of Clean Fleet Enterprise grants, funded by SB21-260, also sponsored by Winter, to support the adoption of electric vehicles.
Following that, the committee went on an e-bike tour of Boulder, hosted by Bicycle Colorado. Recognizing that e-bikes are an important emerging mode of nonpolluting transportation, last session the state funded a long-term $500 state-wide tax credit for e-bike purchases through HB23-1272 which comes online April, 2024.
Senator Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County, who rode an e-bike for the first time on the tour, said “These things are fast and smooth, I can see why they’re replacing car trips for so many people — now we just need to make our streets safer to ride them on.”
Following the e-bike tour, members visited Via Mobility to see how Via’s accessible transportation services help Coloradans get around outside the home. Finally, members visited Idaho Springs to inspect multiple projects along the I-70 corridor.
Today, members continued their tour with a visit to Colorado Department of Transportation improvements on Berthoud Pass and other improvements underway on U.S. Highway 40. The committee met with leaders in Winter Park and learned about the growing bus system and multimodal plans underway including a free public gondola and opportunities for expanding passenger rail connections to the front range.
Finally, members concluded their trip with a tour of the Frisco Transit Center and Summit County Transit operations center, a tour of the Idaho Springs Mobility Hub, and by inspecting projects along I-70, including Floyd Hill construction, peak shoulder lanes, and mountain express lanes.
Earlier this week, the TLRC advanced five interim bills to improve infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, improve child passenger safety, crack down on predatory towing carriers, create a statewide transit pass and provide free transit for Colorado youth, and strengthen railroad safety standards.