Front Range Passenger Rail gets a big federal boost in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program

December 6, 2023, 9:33 pm

Denver’s Union Station would be the hub of a Pueblo-to-Fort-Collins Front Range Passenger Rail system.

A plan for passenger rail service along the Front Range corridor will be included in a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program that will facilitate the development of intercity passenger rail corridors, with the project also getting $500,000 from the Federal Railroad Administration to kickstart development. 

Front Range Passenger Rail would connect Colorado from Fort Collins to Pueblo, with stops planned in other cities including Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs. Colorado officials have advocated for the project for years and saw the infrastructure law as a major opportunity for funding. The project is included in the Corridor Identification Development Plan, established as part of the infrastructure law.

“This is yet another example of the ways in which the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for the people of Colorado,” U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat, said in a statement. “This corridor stretches across more than 160 miles, connecting 13 of the most populous counties across the state and acting as a transportation ‘spine’ for the Front Range. I am excited to see this project become a reality for our growing communities.” 

State legislators established the Front Range Passenger Rail Commission a few years ago to study the potential of executing the project. Governed by a 17-member board of directors appointed by local governments and the governor, the district has the authority to submit a tax measure funding passenger rail service for approval by voters within the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

“Coloradans want Front Range Rail and I’ve heard firsthand from people in Pueblo, Fort Collins, and from across our state that they want more options to get where they need to go efficiently and affordably,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “Front Range Passenger Rail will modernize our transit system, save people money, and support jobs and housing across our state. I applaud the Department of Transportation and the Biden administration for securing and providing this funding, and for recognizing the need for this service and the promise to get it done soon.”

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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Lindsey Toomer

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