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To view the Question of the Month archive, please click here.

Q: What is the FasTracks Program?
North Metro team member gathers comments at November public meeting
The Regional Transportation District (RTD)'s voter-approved FasTracks program passed in 2004. RTD FasTracks transit expansion program will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District.

Q: How will FasTracks serve the North Metro Region?
The entire North Metro Rail Line includes 18.5 miles of commuter rail with eight stations. The first 13 miles between Denver Union Station and 124th Ave. will begin design and construction in 2014.

Q: What is the proposed route?
A: The North Metro Rail Line will begin at Denver Union Station, making its first stop at the National Western Stock Show. The line continues on through Commerce City with a stop at 72nd Avenue. From there it moves into Thornton, with stations at 88th and 104th, then through Northglenn with a station at 112th. The line continues north into Thornton to the 124th Avenue Station. The stations at 144th and end of the line at  SH7/162nd Avenue will be constructed as funding becomes available.

Q. How will the project protect the safety of children and residents along the corridor?
Safety for children, riders and residents is a priority for all of the FasTracks rail lines. In addition to fencing and gates, which are used to keep the public safe, the North Metro Rail Line team is working closely with school districts along the corridor and will also coordinate with the various police departments and the Adams County Sheriff's department, through which the North Metro Rail Line passes, to develop any necessary safety and crime prevention programs. National studies indicate that the extension of a public transportation service does not create additional crime or increase safety problems. RTD's experience with its light rail projects has shown no increase in crime or any increase in problems for nearby schools.

Q. Will the trains blow their horns through intersections?
As part of the planning phase for each of the FasTracks rail Lines, RTD addresses environmental impacts and makes recommendations for minimizing these impacts. Recognizing the effects of train horns on nearby communities, RTD will assist and facilitate the local jurisdictions' efforts to establish Quiet Zones along the North Metro Rail Line. For safety reasons, the Federal Railroad Administration currently requires trains that travel along freight tracks to sound their horns anytime the train approaches a railroad crossing - an intersection where the railroad tracks cross a roadway. Quiet Zones are railroad line segments at least a half-mile long where railroad engineers don't have to sound their train horns at railroad crossings because other safety measures have been incorporated. RTD will be installing additional safety measures at the intersections so that Quiet Zones can be applied for. In addition to Quiet Zones, Sound Walls will be used for mitigation where needed.

Q. Who manufactures this train?
Hyundai Rotem USA, a leading railcar manufacturer that has produced
more than 15,000 electric and diesel railcars. Over 60 percent of the
vehicle components will be made in America.

Q. Why do you use two cars (married pairs)?
Married pairs are more cost effective to use. They also allow a better
use of space as an operating cab is not needed at each end of each car.

Q. Why not use light rail vehicles?
The freight railroads whose corridors we are sharing require RTD to use
heavier commuter railcars that comply with Federal Railroad
Administration safety standards.

Q. What will the fare be on commuter rail?
RTD current fare structure is based on zones. The RTD Board of Directors will decide on the fare prior to opening day.

Q. Will buses continue to run once FasTracks commuter rail service is open?
Express bus service on I-25 will remain similar to current
services. Existing routes closer to the commuter rail alignment will be modified to eliminate duplication of transit service patterns and to provide feeder bus service to and from the commuter rail stations. In addition, the FasTracks program also includes new FastConnects bus service, an improvement of bus service for suburb-to-suburb travel patterns.

Q. How can the public stay informed?
One way is to submit your comments on our website. You can also sign up for our mailing list so that you can stay informed on the progress of the project and receive periodic updates and news about recent developments
and meetings.

More Questions?
Contact us.

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