Wednesday, June 11, 2008

West Corridor : 38% Over Budget

RTD's 12.1 mile West Corridor, part of the Fastracks project, is nearly 40% over budget. Last year RTD's budget for the line hit $744 million. They reduced it to by $634 million through several cost cutting measure such as :
  • Single track the few miles of the line, reducing rush hour frequency to a train every 15 minutes instead of 5
  • Number of LRT cars a station can hand from 4 to 3.
  • Build less parking spaces (for example, one ramp is planned to have 400 spaces, half of the originally recommended 800).
  • Building the rail bed to withstand 5-year storms instead of 100-year storms.
  • Eliminating some stations

These weren't enough. As mentioned, costs have continued to rise back up to $707.6 million. This has prompted even further cost cutting measures by RTD. These include :
  • Reducing landscaping at stations.
  • Further dumbing down station design to make building them cheaper
  • Delaying installing safety equipment such as security cameras and emergency phones.
  • Reducing furnishing at stations.
  • Delaying constructing pedestrian bridges.
  • Reducing the capacity of the bike path that will parallel the line.


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