A pilot project and transportation funding, are these related? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes,’ they are – and here’s how.
Funding sources for transportation are difficult to find – and to sustain – and Colorado is 32nd in the nation for pavement conditions. If we can reduce the number of vehicles on the road by making light rail and other public transportation methods convenient, time saving, and cost-effective – that could certainly help. And, if we can ensure sustainable resources for transportation and infrastructure projects – that will also help.
An innovative transportation-related pilot project is showing some promising results. A public-private partnership of the City of Centennial, Xerox, Lyft, Denver South Transportation Management Association, and Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants, is using technology and available resources for a “last mile ridesharing” program. At the Dry Creek Light Rail Station, riders can use an app or the concierge service to hail a Lyft to get them to and from the station, instead of driving to the station and parking. The service is free during the pilot.
Melanie Morgan, Data Analyst with the Centennial Innovation Team says that the results of the pilot should include cost effectiveness, economies of scale, and a decrease in vehicle miles traveled.
Moving on to transportation funding, Move Colorado President Jeff Kullman provided statistical information pointing towards a huge need for increased funding for transportation and infrastructure. “Colorado last increased a gas tax for transportation in 1991,” said Kullman. “Along with being 32nd in the nation in road conditions, Colorado is growing real fast. From 1991 to 2015 the population has grown from 3.3 million to 5.4 million, and it’s still growing.”
Kullman shared data from public poling in 2015 and 2016 by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc., showing that roads and schools are the top priorities the public has for state government. Given that, Move Colorado is coordinating with the Colorado Contractors Association and others on a 0.6% sales tax that would infuse $700 million into transportation funding in 2016. The proposal also would allow CDOT to bond all or a portion of the funding.
Innovation, technology, and a referendum in 2017; Let’s Move Colorado – and go, Go Centennial!