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Lack of Funding Hits the Brakes for Planned Bus Rapid Transit Route in Denver

Funding for a $200 million bus rapid transit route on East Colfax Avenue in Denver is well behind schedule.
August 4, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Denver Bus Rapid Transit
A "Station Area Conceptual Rendering" for the Colfax Corridor Connections project.
Denver Department of Public Works

Andrew Kenney reports on the city of Denver's plans for a bus rapid transit (BRT) route on East Colfax Avenue—which will have to wait while the city looks for the money to fill a significant funding gap.

City officials announced this week that the project needs around $150 million in more in funding in addition to the $55 million approved by voters for the project in 2017. However, "[t]he city’s budget took a blow when Colorado voters last year rejected Proposition 110, which could have provided $70 million for BRT in Denver," according to Kenney. The city has only just begun applying federal grants to make up the difference.

"Originally the city hoped to start building within a few years but it now expects the project will take five to eight years to build — and it hasn’t said when that process will start," according to Kenney. "That means East Colfax BRT service wouldn’t begin until 2024 at the very earliest, and likely could be delayed into the late 2020s."

The BRT route is also a potentially significant piece of an ongoing land use planning effort in East Denver—raising the stakes of the unanswered questions about the funding of the plan.

Published on Friday, August 2, 2019 in The Denver Post
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