The State of Colorado passed a law in 1997 authorizing and regulating all rural transportation authorities in the state, which provided guidance for creating a local transportation authority. Local governments in the Pikes Peak region began talking about the need for a regional approach to transportation and transit. The cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, unincorporated El Paso County, and the towns of Green Mountain Falls, Ramah and Calhan realized that the area’s rapid growth in population and the resulting traffic congestion called for a united effort to maintain current infrastructure and support new projects. A coalition of Pikes Peak area governments, businesses, and community organizations worked for over two years to communicate the need for capital, maintenance and transit funding to the public, develop ballot language, and create organizational materials and structure.
The PPRTA was established by voter-approved ballot in November 2004, which authorized a one-percent sales tax to support PPRTA goals. The funds are divided between capital projects(55%), maintenance projects(35%) , and transit(10%).
The voters approved the collection of the 55% capital projects funds with a ten-year sunset period ending December 31, 2014.
In November 2012, nearly 80% of the voters in the region approved a ballot issue to extend the capital portion of the RTA from 2015 through 2024. The maintenance and transit portions of the RTA are not subject to sunset provisions, so work will continue on these important projects.
In November 2017, PPRTA board members created a ballot issue to add the El Paso County section of the widening of I-25 between Monument and County Line road. Approved by voters, this item will provide supporting funds to CDOT money in order to encourage a faster approach to the project. The project will be considered separate from both A and B capital project funds and will only be used if CDOT is able to fund the entire project.