DENVER (CBS4)– Some people living in Colorado say the state’s public transportation system isn’t working for everyone. Rather than wait for changes to the current system, they want action on solutions now.
The heavy commuter train lines, A Line, G Line, B Line, along with light rail lines, are the only options for trains in Colorado. Those who don’t live in an area those serve are out of luck.
Now, a public-private partnership is hoping to fill in the gaps with a modern, high-speed train.
The railroad built Colorado. The proof is in the stained glass windows at the state Capitol. That’s where Bob Briggs announced his vision for Colorado’s transportation future on Friday.
“Take the existing right of way that was put in in 1870 and reinvent that right of way into what we envision as modern rail,” said Briggs.
Briggs is part of Rocky Mountain Rail Inc. On Friday, they unveiled their plan to build high-speed railways throughout the state that will tie into existing lines. Current proposed routes will be in the mountains, the Eastern Plains and Northern Colorado.
Of course the big question is how do they plan to pay for all this.
“Revenue bonds are the critical way to finance,” said Briggs.
Briggs said that even though, traditionally, transportation projects don’t produce enough revenue to pay back those bonds, this project is different. They are planning to use energy efficient battery operated trains that can go 1,000 miles on one charge.
“If I can go 1,000 miles between charges, then my cost of operation of that train comes down below $10. And if we can get it at $5 a month, then we have the opportunity to make it pay for itself,” said Briggs.
All they need now is for someone to co-sign on their application for bond money. If they get that, they can build one line to prove it will work.
“Then the rest of them will be easy financing,” said Briggs.
Rocky Mountain Rail Inc. is collecting donations from the public for their GoFundMe campaign.