Monday, August 27, 2007

Transit Driving the Agenda

Apologies for the pun, but Cal Marsalla, RTD's General Manager and CEO, just gave a
lunchtime presentation on the portfolio of the system and how the agency has helped push the transit vision for the region forward. FasTracks has been so popular even while all of the lines still need to be delivered, that they are already looking at where to go next.

Too much to fully recap here, but what struck me was that RTD has been the very definition of proactive in looking to expand service, fill gaps, and innovate as they integrate transit throughout the region. From understanding effective messaging when formulating and campaigning for FasTracks to looking into pilot Design, Build, Operate, Maintain, and Finance* contracts on new corridors to pursuing a master development agreement at Union Station, there are lots of things going on in the Denver region that are not going on elsewhere in the country.

It all sounds so good it's almost too much to believe. Hopefully the inflation in construction costs won't derail FasTracks (again apologies for the pun, must have been something in the lunch) and RTD can continue their momentum.

(* apparently there is a lot of foreign interest in financing infrastructure investments in the United States and the length of financing can exceed the bonding capability of cities. Interesting to look into the broader implications of the this trend.)

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