Mark your calendars for April 26th. The so-called “W” line of the FasTracks light rail system is set to open with service connecting Golden to downtown Denver. We’re not sure this should be the celebration that it’s been described as. This boondoggle is billions of dollars over budget and decades behind schedule. Yes, decades.
When FasTracks was pitched to Denver area voters in 2004, citizens were told that it would be a twelve year, $4.7 billion endeavor. Obviously, this was highly optimistic. Coloradans still do not have service to the airport. Nor do its citizens have the proposed 122 miles of track; in fact, with the completion of the new line, we will have just 47 miles of track. The project will be 39% complete at approximately 75% through the initial timeline.
So once again, the joke is on Colorado taxpayers. The 0.4% tax increase is certainly not going anywhere fast. In fact, the idea of doubling the tax has been seriously considered in the past. Right now, the the project budget stands at $7.4 billion, an astonishing 57% greater that the budget that was suggested to voters in 2004. On top of that, RTD is looking for other sources of funding (translation: hold on to your wallet), and has predicted that without incremental funding sources, the project may not reach completion until 2042. Yes, you read that correctly. Not for almost 30 years.
Add this one to the never ending list of bad trades made by bureaucrats using other peoples’ money.