November 30 2009, 9:58 AM
If you live in the north metro-Denver area, chances are that you won't benefit from the Regional Transportation District's FasTracks rail program---unless RTD makes drastic changes to approaching the project, according to a new report (via The Denver Post). The report by BBC Research & Consulting, which was prepared for the North Area Transportation Alliance and its roughly 1 million residents, states that the north metro region would be the last to receive lines, meaning those communities "carry all the accumulated risk and a reasonable probability of not seeing return from their tax contributions." The report further questions whether the vast system of rail will ever be fully completed, as funding faces myriad challenges amid rising construction costs and lower-than-anticipated sales-tax collections. The North Metro commuter rail through Denver, Commerce City, and Thornton---the second-costliest after the planned train to Denver International Airport---nonetheless will go through hearings regarding environmental impact issues, according to Kevin Flynn's Inside Lane. Meanwhile, in rural Ordway, freight cars sitting empty on miles of track after being idled by Union Pacific during the economic slowdown have been nicknamed "The Iron Curtain," writes The Associated Press.