by Randal O’Toole
In 2004, Denver’s Regional Transit District (RTD) persuaded voters to pay billions of dollars in taxes to build a 19th century rail transit system for a 21st century urban area. Thirteen years later, this experiment is increasingly proving to be a failure.
Ridership on Denver’s new R and W light-rail lines is so low that RTD is reducing train frequencies. After more than a year of operating a rail line to the airport, the agency still hasn’t figured out how to make its automatic crossing gates work reliably, a problem private railroads solved more than 80 years ago.
Due to overruns that nearly doubled construction costs, RTD is unlikely to finish all of the lines promised to voters in 2004 without another tax increase. Those cost overruns have also harmed bus riders, who — instead of the enhanced bus service promised by RTD — saw service decline from 39 million bus-miles in 2004 to 36 million in 2015, with more cuts expected in the near future.
Read the whole article originally published in The Hill on November 1, 2017.