CO: Longmont officials support passenger rail district bill, others

Jan. 26, 2024
The Longmont City Council Tuesday endorsed four state legislative bills that ranged in topics from a planned passenger rail service that will run along the Front Range to railroad safety.

Jan. 24—The Longmont City Council Tuesday endorsed four state legislative bills that ranged in topics from a planned passenger rail service that will run along the Front Range to railroad safety.

"They have started with a bang, 185 bills already this morning," Sandra Seader, Longmont assistant city manager, told the council Tuesday about the state legislature's work. "They're off and running for sure."

The state legislature created the Front Range Passenger Rail District in 2021, a planned passenger rail service expected to initially offer stops from Fort Collins and Longmont through Denver and all the way to Pueblo. City officials decided Tuesday to support House Bill 24-1012, which involves the operational efficiency of the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

The passenger rail system also will connect with local transit agencies such as RTD along the Front Range, according to the district's website.

Councilmembers also supported House Bill 24-1030, which would limit the maximum length of a train operating in the state, require certain railroads to use wayside detector systems and curb the amount of time a train could stop travel at certain crossings. Longmont has more than 20 at-grade rail crossings, according to the city's website.

In addition to rail transportation issues, the council also backed House Bill 24-1075, which would create an advisory task force to advise the Colorado School of Public Health on a study for a statewide universal health care payment system. Councilmember Aren Rodriguez supported the bill, saying that a study would include data and numbers about health care statewide.

The final bill the council supported, Senate Bill 24-036, would provide funding for transportation system infrastructure improvements to try to reduce the number of collisions between cars and others on the road.

It's important that the City Council get a chance to talk about proposed state bills that would impact Longmont, said Marcia Martin, a councilmember.

"It's empowering for the council because our testimony to the legislature is much stronger if the council has voted to support (legislation) as a body," Martin said.

The state's 74th General Assembly's second regular session convened on Jan. 10 and is scheduled to adjourn on May 8.

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