1. Solutions
  2. FasTracks
  3. Meetings
  4. Initiatives

Transportation is a Fundamental Issue for the MMC

TABOR, passed by a margin of 111,402 votes in 1992, mandates voter approval of every statewide tax increase. Since 1992, Colorado has grown from just over 3 million residents to more than 5.6 million and over that same 27 year time period, voters have not approved a single statewide tax increase to support transportation. Because our state and federal gas taxes are not indexed to inflation, a dollar today purchases just 40% as much as it did in 1991.  Colorado's Department of Transportation  has a $9B funding shortfall in its 10-year Development Plan. The $9B shortfall is CDOT’s alone, however more than 75% of the paved miles in Colorado are maintained by cities and counties. Every trip begins on a local road, street or sidewalk and local governments also face tremendous unfunded mobility and maintenance needs. 

More than 53% of the state's population lives within the metro Denver area. As the state's economic engine, an integrated multi-modal mobility system is essential to  the economic health and quality of life in both the Denver metro area and the state. A fully integrated system provides mobility choices by tying together rail, bus transit, local roads, state highways, bike lanes, sidewalks and mobility solutions like those emerging from the sharing economy. Build-out of this network in the Denver region is a critical component of Metro Vision, the Denver region's long-range growth and development plan.

Significant and sustainable sources of new revenues are required to address the state and local multi-modal needs of current and future generations of Coloradans. Given the critical importance of mobility to economic and environmental sustainability, the Caucus has convened dialogues and supported many initiatives on transportation and mobility since 1993. Support has been provided for multiple rail lines, the $1.67B TREX Project, the 2004 ballot proposal to fund RTD's FasTracks plan, the $200M per year, fee based 2009 legislative financing package known as FASTER,  legislative attempts to identify sustainable sources of new funding and, most recently,  the 2018 statewide sales tax increase in  Proposition 110 also known as "Let's Go, Colorado" which would have generated $767M for transportation in its first year. 

With failure of Proposition 110's  .62% statewide sales tax increase and the fiscally irresponsible Proposition 109 debt proposal, the Caucus encourages Governor Polis and the legislature to reevaluate all options to fund both state and local mobility needs. Concurrently, a statewide education campaign is needed to help voters understand how Colorado's transportation system is funded and why current revenues are insufficient to preserve the current system, much less make the critical investments necessary to maintain the quality of life and economic viability of our state. 

The mobility needs in metro Denver and regions across the state are incredibly urgent. More than 85% of Coloradan’s live within the regions served by five metropolitan planning organizations in the Fort Collin/Greeley, Metro Denver, Pueblo, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs areas. As we search for a viable state-level solution, we must also refocus our efforts on finding a solution to meet growing unfunded local and regional mobility needs. Empowering existing regional organizations to tailor multi-modal funding solutions to their citizen’s needs is critical to sustaining both the economy and livability of our state.