Bustang is expanding to some weekend service starting Saturday.

Tuesday Newscast, 11/17/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 17, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Tuesday Newscast, 11/10/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 10, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Colorado Springs residents can expect to see road repairs taking place after ballot measure 2C was approved with 65% of the vote. 

The measure allows for a .62% sales tax increase to go toward road maintenance, and is expected to draw around 50 million dollars a year in revenue.

Mayor John Suthers said he plans to appoint a five person advisory committee to review progress, and added that the Public Works Department will issue occasional updates.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

Efforts to fund much-needed repairs to Amtrak's Southwest Chief line got an extra boost Monday as the U. S. Department of Transportation awarded $15.2 million to the project.  Combined with matching funds, the grant, known as a TIGER grant, totals $24.5 million.

"This is really a huge win," said Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace, who also heads the state's Southwest Chief commission. "And [it] shows that if you put aside your differences, you forget about party, if you forget about state lines, if you all work together you can accomplish great things."

Sample Ballot / El Paso County Clerk & Recorder

The highest profile item on this year's ballot in Colorado Springs is Issue 2C. The mayor and city council are proposing a .62% increase in the sales tax to help pay for road repairs. Opponents of the tax say there's enough money already in the city's budget.

The proposed tax increase is estimated to add $50 million dollars a year, in each of the next five years, to the road repair fund. And, according to Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, the extra money is needed because the city has fallen behind. She says part of the problem is a lack of funding and part is the city's growth.

Thursday Newscast, 10/22/15, 6:04 PM

Oct 22, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, October 22, 2015, 6:04 PM:

Matt Richmond / KRCC

The proposed 2016 budget for Colorado Springs is now headed to city council for markup. At a public hearing earlier this week, residents questioned a few of the mayor's priorities. The two biggest concerns were parks and transportation funding.

At Tuesday night's public hearing, 22 people attended. One group wore blue shirts to show their support for public transit funding.

In Mayor Suthers' proposed budget, there's an 815,000 dollar increase in funding for Mountain Metropolitan Transit.

Friday Newscast, 10/16/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 16, 2015

Newscast for Friday, October 16, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Friday is the last day to submit comments on a proposed transportation plan for the Pikes Peak area.

Moving Forward 2040 looks at existing and future needs for improvements to multi-modal transportation, and identifies $6 billion worth of need.  The plan has allocated $3 billion toward projects based on projected federal, state, and local funding.

Woodland Park Looks at Traffic Circulation

Sep 22, 2015

The city of Woodland Park is taking the next step in planning for traffic issues in and around the city.

A traffic circulation study team will present more refined options that look at ways to alleviate congested traffic conditions in Woodland Park at a public meeting Tuesday night. 

The city's Planning Director Sally Riley says even though it usually comes down to funding, the city is trying to get citizen input to determine which issues are the most pressing.

Colorado Springs City Council gave preliminary approval to place two measures on November's ballot that would benefit roads and parks. 

Mayor John Suthers formally presented his proposals at Tuesday's council meeting, one of which will ask residents for a .62% sales tax increase for road repairs.  It would sunset in five years and generate around $50 million each year.

Critics say that money can be found in the existing budget, but Suthers says that's just not realistic.

Tuesday Newscast, 07/14/15, 5:32 PM

Jul 14, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, 7/14/15, 05:32


A new bus service has launched that will help connect Front Range cities and locations along the I-70 corridor to Denver. Monday was its inaugural day of operation.

The new bus system from the Colorado Department of Transportation aims to provide an alternative and to help reduce traffic along interstates.

CDOT’s Bob Wilson says Bustang’s first day of service went well despite a few website and phone glitches, adding that CDOT expects the service will be popular.

The City of Colorado Springs is looking at the future of Shooks Run, a corridor located east of downtown between Fountain Creek and Patty Jewett Golf Course. 

The first of several public workshops takes place on Thursday, kicking off a 16-month collaborative planning process called Envision Shooks Run. 

The project will create a plan to address issues like drainage, multi-modal transportation, and urban planning to help improve infrastructure and enhance the corridor.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The Colorado Department of Transportation Commission voted unanimously to approve $1 million to help preserve the Southwest Chief rail line in southern Colorado. It's part of a route that stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The aging track needs major upgrades or Amtrak will have to reroute the line out of Colorado and parts of New Mexico and Kansas. The train stops in Lamar, La Junta and Trinidad, in southeastern Colorado.

A series of workshops this month looks to discuss the future of bicycling in Colorado Springs.  KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports.

The forums will help update the Colorado Springs Bike Master Plan, which lays out a ten-year strategy for the improvement of bicycling conditions in the city.

Brian Shevock is the Bicycle Coordinator for the city. He says his biggest challenge is the spread out nature of Colorado Springs.

Rains this week have stalled roadwork on Kiowa and Bijou streets in downtown Colorado Springs. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The roads were milled and ready for paving when the recent heavy rainfalls hit, causing them to deteriorate. Colorado Springs Street Division Manager Corey Farkas says while they can’t plan for the weather, it hasn’t affected the project timeline.

UPDATE: Vollmer has reopened. Tapadero and Green Mountain Rds. remain closed. 

El Paso County officials have closed several roads:

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Colorado’s Southwest Chief commission met Friday, just days after $1.5 million in funding amendments were stripped from the House’s state budget proposal and another funding bill was put on indefinite hold. 

The commission is tasked with finding money for the route, including needed repairs to the tracks and for possibly adding a stop in Pueblo. 

Steve Wilson / Flickr – Creative Commons


UPDATE 04/14/15: The Joint Budget Committee, charged with negotiating the differences between the House and Senate budget proposals, stripped this funding amendment from the budget. The eventual budget plan will still need approval from both chambers.

ORIGINAL POST 04/09/15: Lawmakers in the House initially passed the state's annual budget yesterday. After hours of debate, the chamber decided to set aside money to help preserve a passenger train that runs through southeastern Colorado. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

A bill in Colorado’s Senate that seeks funding to help preserve Amtrak’s Southwest Chief route passed out of committee today on a 5-2 vote. 

This comes on the heels of a report from the state’s Southwest Chief Commission that says the original expected $40 million share to help save the long distance route has been knocked down to 8.91 million, due in part to a federal transportation grant and negotiations with BNSF Railway, the company that owns the tracks. 

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Members of Colorado’s Southwest Chief Commission heard opening remarks at their meeting Thursday from the head of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Efforts to preserve Amtrak’s Southwest Chief long-distance passenger train service that runs through southern Colorado got a financial boost.  KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports on a grant from the federal Department of Transportation that will help fix some of the regional track that’s in most need of repair.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Colorado’s commission to look at preserving Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line is gearing up to start its meetings. 

The commission’s been tasked with coordinating efforts to try and save the line, which faces possible rerouting out of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico if necessary infrastructure upgrades aren’t completed.

Jim Souby is the President of the Colorado Rail Passenger Association, and was appointed to the commission to represent the tourism industry.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is a long-distance passenger train that travels daily from Chicago to Los Angeles along the Mountain Route of the historic Santa Fe Trail.  Along the way, it knits together rural communities, like La Junta, Colorado and Raton, New Mexico and connects them to larger cities, like Albuquerque and Kansas City.  The route is at risk though.

Starting today Colorado residents who are in the country illegally can apply to get a state driver’s license. The Democratic controlled legislature passed the law in 2013. Ten other states have similar laws already on the books.

Undocumented immigrants must first prove that they’ve lived in Colorado for the last two years and have paid state and federal taxes. They’ll also have to show an ID from their home country such as a passport, and sign an affidavit pledging to apply for legal status.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Recipients of an annual federal transportation grant are expected to be announced this fall. As KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports, officials in Southern Colorado are hoping the grant will help keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line on its current route.

The grant is known as the TIGER grant, and is part of a federal funding program that helps finance large transportation projects nationwide.

Dana Cronin / KRCC

The President and CEO of Amtrak rode the Southwest Chief line in a separate train through Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico on a Whistle-stop tour to talk about the future of the route.  KRCC’s Dana Cronin was in La Junta and has this report.

The Southwest Chief runs between Los Angeles and Chicago. The future of the route is in question, as the current rail lines require upgrades in order to maintain passenger rail speeds.

Coloradoans are preparing to hit the road for the July 4th holiday weekend. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

Rising gas prices are still 7 cents lower on average than last year, and are expected to have little effect on the number of Colorado residents traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend. 

The Independence Day weekend sees some of the largest numbers of travelers in comparison to other holidays, according to Bob Wilson, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.