Denver FasTracks Quality of Life Program

In 2004, Denver-area voters passed a sales tax initiative that would help fund a 12-year expansion of the region’s transit services. When completed, the $6-billion FasTracks project will have constructed 119 miles of new rapid transit, including bus rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, and extensions to existing light rail lines. To help assess the impact of this significant transit investment, KAI developed a Quality of Life Program to measure FasTracks’ impacts on Denver’s economy, transportation systems, and land use patterns—before, during, and after construction. This long-term program is anticipated to generate a wealth of information that will be used to improve the planning of future major transit investments, both in the Denver region and elsewhere. KAI linked performance measures to FasTracks program goals, developed a data collection plan that specified how each measure is calculated and the source of data for each measure, developed templates to report results, and identified data needs for the FTA-mandated before-and-after studies for the corridors that may receive New Starts funding. A pilot test of the program was completed in 2006, in conjunction with the opening of the Southeast (T-REX) light rail corridor, and annual reports have been produced every year since then to document the project’s ongoing impacts.