Man wants statewide rail system |

Man wants statewide rail system

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) A Boulder man is drafting a proposed initiative to create a statewide rail district that would connect the Front Range with mountain communities and the plains.

Bryan Costales calls it the CORT the Colorado Rapid Transit. It would be the Colorado version of San Francisco’s BART system, he says.

”These things take a long time to get installed. That’s why we need to get started now,” Costales said Monday.

His proposal would ask voters to create a statewide rail district. It would be paid for with a new 0.5-cent sales tax. In the six metro counties making up the Regional Transportation District alone that would generate about $3 billion over 30 years. Legislative staff will review and comment on the proposal March 13 at the state capitol.

”So far, the people I’ve talked to think it’s a great idea,” Costales said. ”Look at the condition of the roads; U.S. 36 is way too crowded. People are driving hazardously close together.”

Costales’ idea comes as state lawmakers, regional transit officials and local governments are grappling with a number of proposals to ease gridlock on roads and highways across the region.

Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder, is sponsoring a measure to direct surplus tax revenues into a mass transit fund.

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