Vince Carroll just did RTD a big favor. He highlighted highway head Don Hunt’s proposal to link additional RTD sales tax funding to improvements in metro roads.
At the very moment most states are reconsidering and either canceling or delaying massively expensive transit projects, Denver’s political establishment is racing head long to double the transit tax just voted on in 2004. It would increase RTD’s share of limited transportation funds in the region for transit from $160 million per year to $320 million.
The subsidy is to an agency still unable to provide a reasonable projection of costs and revenue for its main responsibility – providing bus service – much less its sub par performance in estimating the costs or revenue of the transit proposal approved in 2004.
But, if the RTD tax increase was scaled back and joined with a roads proposal, there might be both a justification for a tax increase and assurance that at least half the funding would go to an agency with well-identified need and track record of successful completion of projects.
See Vincent Carroll column: Governor needs a two-track mind