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Northwest Rail Update Nadine Lee, Northwest Rail Project Manager Regional Transportation District March 21, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Northwest Rail Update Nadine Lee, Northwest Rail Project Manager Regional Transportation District March 21, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Northwest Rail Update Nadine Lee, Northwest Rail Project Manager Regional Transportation District March 21, 2012

2 FasTracks Annual Program Evaluation Annual evaluation of FasTracks Program financial plan Conducted as part of Senate Bill 208 review process with Denver Regional Council of Governments Plan moving forward assumes a ballot initiative in 2012 for a 0.4% sales and use tax increase –If no tax increase, full FasTracks completion projected by

3 Northwest Rail Update 41-mile diesel commuter rail line Denver Union Station to Longmont via Boulder on BNSF right- of-way Shared freight and commuter operations Seven stations: Westminster, Church Ranch, Flatirons, Downtown Louisville, Boulder Transit Village, Gunbarrel, and Downtown Longmont Final Environmental Evaluation issued in 2010 First segment from Denver Union Station to Westminster, the Northwest Electrified Segment (NWES), to be constructed as part of the Eagle P3 project

4 Northwest Rail Update Costs for Segment 2 of the Northwest Rail Line as part of 2011 Annual Program Evaluation = $894.6 million 2012 Annual Program Evaluation cost for Northwest Rail = $1.412 billion –Based on 2020 completion date and updated cost estimates, including recent information from BNSF It is likely that the completion date will have to be extended to match RTD’s cash flow constraints –Anticipate a 3 – 5 year delay for the project; completion projected in 2024 –Additional cost escalation due to this delay would result in an increase of $150 – $300 M to the total cost of the Northwest Rail project, bringing total cost of project to $1.7 billion

5 Northwest Rail Update Given the increased cost and schedule risk with being the last line to be constructed, US 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition requested that RTD develop options that provide “real, timely and significant benefits” in the short-term for Northwest Rail In response to this request, RTD identified three options for consideration

6 Options for FasTracks Implementation 1.Delay completion of Northwest Rail 3-5 years to match RTD’s cash flow requirements 2.Delay completion of Northwest Rail 3-5 years to match RTD’s cash flow requirements, but accelerate select capital projects and increase funding for bus service for Northwest Rail and U.S. 36 Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Service Areas –Based on a request from U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition received on December 5 th 3.Remove Northwest Rail from the FasTracks plan and commit remaining Northwest Rail project funds, capped at $894 million, for expanded/enhanced Bus Rapid Transit in the Northwest Corridor area

7 Staff Recommendation Extending the Northwest Commuter Rail Line from DUS to the Church Ranch Station with revenue service commencing at a point between to provide bi-directional peak service for commuters connecting to/from DUS Completing the Northwest Rail Line incrementally or in its entirety from Church Ranch to Longmont, as funding becomes available from the original 0.4% sales and use tax. Funding is anticipated to be available during the period of 2028 – 2034 –This timeframe is based on taking the remaining cost for Northwest Rail, inflating the cost to year-of-expenditure (YOE) dollars, and testing the financial model to determine when RTD has the financial capacity to expend the funds needed to complete the rail line –BNSF has worked cooperatively to successfully develop portions of multiple RTD FasTracks corridors. RTD is confident that BNSF will continue to expend their time and effort working in partnership with RTD on implementation strategies to complete this rail line

8 Staff Recommendation (cont.) Building a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system by 2020 that will provide cost effective, immediate relief improvements for the Northwest Corridor The opening day (2022) cost for the FasTracks program under this staff recommendation is $7.4 billion

9 Staff Recommendation Extend the Northwest Commuter Rail Line from Denver Union Station (DUS) to the Church Ranch Station –Revenue service begins sometime between Complete the Northwest Rail Line as funding becomes available from the original 0.4% sales and use tax –Funding is anticipated to be available during the period of 2028 – 2034 –BNSF has worked cooperatively to successfully develop portions of multiple RTD FasTracks corridors. RTD is confident that BNSF will continue to work in partnership with RTD to complete this rail Build up to 80 miles of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) by 2020 that will provide cost effective, immediate relief improvements for the Northwest Corridor. The opening day (2022) cost for the FasTracks program under this staff recommendation is $7.4 billion

10 Additional Notes The RTD Board of Directors does not have the authority to unilaterally change the use of the tax and debt authorized for the original FasTracks plan If the RTD Board of Directors chooses to proceed with a sales and use tax election in 2012, an amended plan will be referenced as part of the ballot question –Approval of the ballot measure will include approval of the plan amendment –If the ballot measure fails, the 2004 plan will remain unchanged Staff recommendation assumes a new sales and use tax increase of 0.4% commencing in January, 2013 –This action does not represent a decision or commitment at this time by the Board of Directors to place a sales and use tax increase on the ballot

11 Outreach Efforts

12 RTD has conducted over 20 meetings since mid-December 2011 to discuss program challenges with stakeholders in the region, including elected officials, jurisdictional staff, the business community, and the general public Many additional meetings are scheduled through the end of March and beyond

13 Frequently Asked Questions Will RTD fulfill its promise to complete commuter rail to Longmont and if so – by when? –Under the staff recommendation, this commuter rail line would remain as part of the program, funded under the original 0.4% tax. –The schedule for completing the Northwest Rail Line from Church Ranch to Longmont will depend on funding availability –Funding is anticipated to be available during the period of 2028 – 2034 How much will the initial segment of commuter rail to Church Ranch cost? –RTD’s current estimate for this segment of rail is between $350- $425 M (YOE)

14 Frequently Asked Questions (cont.) Is $894.6 (including prior expenditures) enough to build a BRT system that meets the mobility needs of this corridor? –In coordination with our stakeholders, RTD identified proposed capital improvements necessary for a successful BRT system –RTD then developed a cost estimate that incorporates these assumptions –The cost estimate fit within the funding cap with a conservative amount of contingency

15 Frequently Asked Questions (cont.) Does the staff recommendation represent an investment greater than the original FasTracks plan contemplated? How much more? –In terms of what would be funded under a new sales and use tax, the staff recommendation for this corridor is approximately $400 M (YOE) less than Option 1 (which assumes no BRT and the Northwest Rail Line being completed to Longmont by 2024) –Funding for the Northwest Rail Line from Church Ranch to Longmont will be provided from the original 0.4% sales and use tax. Funding is anticipated to be available to initiate construction and begin revenue service during the period of 2028 – 2034 –The combined cost of BRT and the Northwest Rail Line to Longmont would increase the long-term investment in this corridor by approximately $700 million in base year dollars as compared to Option 1. Total cost in YOE will depend on timing of construction. Building BRT provides an immediate relief to the corridor and could provide long term benefit to taxpayers in the Northwest Corridor

16 Frequently Asked Questions (cont.) Will RTD agree to developing an enforceable document with stakeholders to provide assurances that the remaining partially funded corridors will be constructed? –RTD is willing to work with the stakeholders throughout the district to identify specific language that will be reflected in an amendment to the FasTracks plan. This amended plan will then be referenced specifically in the ballot language (should the RTD Board of Directors decide to move forward with an election)

17 FasTracks Monitoring Committee Update

18 On March 20, 2012, the FasTracks Monitoring Committee recommended to the full RTD Board to advance the Staff Recommendation of the Hybrid Option as an assumption for the Northwest Corridor in the Annual Program Evaluation The RTD Board will take action on this proposal on March 27, 2012

19 Next Steps

20 2012 APE Schedule March 27: Board approval of the Northwest Corridor option, 2012 APE financial plan and SB 208 report June 2012: DRCOG approval of SB 208 Report

21 Questions?


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