The Winter Park Express, running from Denver to Winter Park Credit: Amtrak Winter Park Express

DENVER, Colorado – A proposed passenger train project connecting Denver and Northwest Colorado is one step closer to reality, with Governor Jared Polis signing a bill to generate initial funding.

According to SkyHi News, Senate Bill 184 adds a $3 per day fee to any car rentals throughout the state of Colorado, with the money going towards transportation projects. An estimated $50 million could be generated from the fee, set to go into affect in 2025.

“The promise of unfulfilled transit has gone on too long in Colorado. And today, we reverse that.” – Colorado Governor Jared Polis

With a chunk of the funds collected through the new fee, the Governor and bill sponsors hope to secure federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Federal grants can be used for up to 80% of a project’s funding, with the other 20% matched from the state.

The mountain rail project aims to expand the current train system between Denver and Winter Park, which currently runs the Winter Park Express, extending it through Steamboat Springs, Hayden, and Craig. That project is one of three short term goals for the funding from the new fee, the other two being a statewide bus service expansion and a passenger rail along the Front Range.

To be clear, we still have a long way to go, there’s a lot of work to do to get these projects done.” – Senate President Steve Fenberg

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