First city newsletter

History

In the early part of the 2000s, 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, El Paso County, and the town of Green Mountain Falls 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.

The State of Colorado had passed a law in 1997 authorizing and regulating all rural transportation authorities in the state, which provided guidance for creating a local transportation authority. A coalition of Pikes Peak area governments, businesses, and community organizations worked for over two years to communicate to the public, develop ballot language, and create organizational materials and structure.

On November 2, 2004, the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority was established by the voters in the four governments. The PPRTA was authorized to collect a one-percent sales tax to fund transportation and transit improvements. Fifty-five percent of the money would fund a voter-approved list of capital projects, 35% would be used for additional maintenance (such as street overlays and pothole patching), and 10% would be used to expand the Springs Transit bus system.

The voters approved the collection of the 55% capital projects funds for a ten-year period ending December 31, 2014.

In November 2012, nearly 80% of the voters in the region (including those in Ramah, which had joined the RTA in 2009) approved a ten-year extension for capital projects, from 2015 to 2024.