The technology doesn’t exist yet, but it’s time to start thinking about how a high-speed rail would impact you.
A Jefferson County research group wants your input on a potential high-speed train that would run between the Denver International Airport and the Eagle County Regional Airport. Development Research Partners is conducting a study of the economic impact and financial feasibility of such a train while collecting input from Colorodoans to make sure it’s something that residents would use.
The high-speed rail would cut 35-45 minutes off the 155-mile trip, and that’s without traffic, according to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. In winter ski traffic, the effect on travel times is even more astounding. Estimates also suggest the train could free up the Eisenhower Tunnel of more than two million cars. The cost of traveling on the high-speed rail would be about $0.26 per passenger mile.
Though the technology doesn’t yet exist for the high-speed rail, the survey attempts to uncover the impact of I-70 traffic conditions on Colorodoans’ travel.
The Federal Highway Administration has demanded that the state propose a solution to the traffic problem on I-70. Analysis has shown that both highway improvements and high-speed transit options will be necessary to retain manageable driving conditions.
Margaret Bowes, director of the I-70 Coalition, which is dedicated to improving traffic conditions for the I-70 Central Mountain Corridor, said long-term planning is needed since adding lanes won’t suffice. “We know that we could widen the entire corridor and in just a matter of years, we would be back to the same level of congestion we have today,” Bowes said.
The same group found in a study that the technology, which might include magnetic levitation vehicles, is possible, but funding the project may not be. The financial burden of developing a high-speed rail is estimated between $13 billion and $16 billion, and where the money would come from is still unknown.
High-speed transportation options from the Denver area to mountain communities may be a ways away, but you can give your input on the potential impact now. Click here to take the survey.
How would a high-speed rail impact your life? Let us know in the comments below.