May 20, 2022

Neguse Leads Colorado Delegation Letter To DOT & FRA, Urges Funding For Colorado’s Front Range Passenger Rail Project

The letter requests that the project is prioritized in part with the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Neguse led a coalition of Colorado Federal lawmakers in a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administrationrequesting they include the Front Range Passenger Rail Project in the Corridor Identification Development Plan – which identifies projects that are ready to receive funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The letter is co-signed by fellow Colorado Representatives Ed Perlmutter, Jason Crow and Diana DeGette. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation, in collaboration with local communities, has been working to advance this project – highlighting the state’s need to reduce pressure and congestion on our roads. 

“The Front Range Passenger Rail would stretch more than 160 miles and would connect 13 of the most populous counties across the state, acting as a transportation ‘spine’ along the Front Range of Colorado. The population among the Front Range is expected to grow by 35%, increasing the pressure on Colorado’s transportation system. This project will help ease the burden on our roads, improve safety of commuters, and will create jobs across the state.” read the letter from the Colorado lawmakers. 

“The time for the Front Range Passenger Rail project is now, and we are committed to doing everything we can at the Federal level to make it a reality and support the Governor’s efforts,” said Congressmen Neguse.

“We are ready to deliver Front Range Rail for Colorado to connect our communities, and to move people, ideas and goods that will help our economy thrive. We are taking bold steps to reduce air pollution, fight for clean air, and, and this transformative rail project is critical to our shared efforts,” said Governor Polis. “I thank our Congressional delegation for their efforts.”

“Connecting the growing cities of Colorado’s Front Range with passenger rail will ease traffic congestion, improve air quality and bring multi-modal transportation options to the 85% of Coloradans who live within the corridor.  Colorado is ready to do its part to provide local funding, but we can’t do this alone.  As the Front Range Passenger Rail District develops an operations and financing plan, federal funds will be essential to getting the job done.” said Boulder County Commissioner, Claire Levy. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contained $66 billion in funding for passenger rail developments. The Corridor Identification Development Plan is the first step in identifying projects for this unprecedented transformation of America’s passenger rail network. Neguse played a key role in the swift passage and enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a monumental piece of legislation that invests in the economy, rebuilds crumbling roads and bridges and ensures American communities can compete in the 21st Century. Thanks to the advocacy and leadership of Congressman Neguse, the bill also includes key priorities for the west – funds for wildfire prevention, a pay raise for federal wildland firefighters and investments in collaborative forest programs, such as the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership.

Colorado is already set to receive the following in federal funding from the historic law: 

Read the letter HERE and below: 

                                                          +++

Secretary Pete Buttigieg                                              Administrator Amit Bose 

U.S. Department of Transportation                               U.S. Federal Railroad Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave SE                                             1200 New Jersey Ave SE

Washington, DC 20590                                                Washington, DC 20590 

Dear Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Bose, 

As you begin implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58), we ask you give full and fair consideration to the Front Range Passenger Rail project in Colorado to be included in the Corridor Identification and Development Plan (22308 of the IIJA).

The Front Range Passenger Rail would stretch more than 160 miles and connect 13 of the most populous counties across the state, acting as a transportation "spine" along the Front Range of Colorado. The population among the Front Range is expected to grow by 35%, increasing the pressure on Colorado’s transportation system. This project will help ease the burden on our roads, improve safety of commuters, and create jobs across the state. Colorado recently passed SB21-238, which established the Front Range Rail District, an independent entity tasked with planning and developing a passenger rail system through the region. Additionally, Colorado has already invested $8 million in studies to determine the viability of possible routes for this rail line. 

Amtrak recently included the project on its Connects US Future Service map – a list of possible rail network expansion projects – signaling a clear need for this effort. The Front Range Passenger Rail project will also help the Biden Administration get closer to its climate goals by using energy efficient rail networks to cut fuel use and lower carbon emissions in the transportation sector. 

 

The Front Range Passenger Rail effort has been in the works since 2017, and Colorado stands ready to implement this important project. Thank you for your full and fair consideration of the Front Range Passenger Rail project as part of the Corridor Identification Development Plan. Please contact our offices if you have questions.

Sincerely,

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