Denver’s 119-mile FasTracks rail transit project, approved by voters in 2004, will cost at least $1.4 billion more than voters were told, according to the project’s 2007 annual report. Moreover, a revenue shortfall means that Denver’s Regional Transit District’s (RTD) ability to sell bonds to pay for construction will fall $400 million short of expectations.
Although RTD blames rising steel prices for the overrun, in fact a large share of the additional cost is due to RTD’s own inane decisions. The original plan called for running Diesel-powered trains from downtown to the airport, but RTD decided to spend another $400 million electrifying the route. RTD also changed routes on the North Metro line, adding at least $100 million to its costs.