RTD-04172020-KS-156

Riders board the eastbound RTD University of Colorado A Line train from the Central Park Station on Smith Road in Denver on April 17, 2020.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse has written to the Regional Transportation District urging the agency not to back away from building a rail line to Boulder.

His letter comes less than two week after his predecessor in Congress, now-Gov. Jared Polis, admonished RTD to “move quickly” on constructing the rail link.

“While many FasTracks routes have been completed and have provided increased transit options to many Coloradans,” wrote Neguse, referring to the 2004 ballot initiative authorizing a build-out of RTD rail lines and other improvements, “the B Line extension project, which was originally slated to be completed in 2017, still has not been extended to Boulder County while residents have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in FasTracks taxes.”

Neguse explained to Debra A. Johnson, the general manager and CEO of RTD, that he continually hears from constituents about transportation, and RTD should follow through on its commitment to the line.

On Jan. 22, Polis similarly told Johnson that he was “extremely concerned” when Johnson had mused publicly about alternatives to a rail line.

Although the governor’s letter was backed up by multiple officials in Boulder County, RTD Director Shontel Lewis, District B, characterized the request as “so out of touch” given that RTD was making difficult decisions about service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to Neguse's letter, Johnson said she takes the commitments made for the FasTracks program seriously.

“That being said, I look forward to meeting with the Congressman and his staff," she continued. "Next Tuesday night, Feb. 9, a board study session will be held that will focus on FasTracks and Northwest Rail specifically. I am optimistic that will serve as a start to an open and productive dialogue on how to fund these projects and best serve our customers across the region as we move forward. 

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