Archive for April, 2013

New Light Rail Transit Line Promotes Urban Development In Denver Suburb

A light rail transit line is opening Friday and could remind long time residents of an earlier time in Denver’s existence when their trolley route through the suburbs to Golden, CO was booming. The Denver Tramway Corp.’s Route 84 connected suburban ranch homes to jobs in the city. When cars and buses replaced the trolley in the 1950′s, West Colfax Avenue corridor was a neon showplace of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

With the launch of a new light rail transit line, Denver officials are anticipating a boom returning to the area. Millions of private and public dollars have been invested and business owners are anxious for the possibilities of this new line.

One developer is using 5 acres to redevelop and place 110 homes 400 feet south of the Lamar Station Crossing light rail station.

Projects are coming out of the ground, and deals are being done right and left. West Colfax is on its way back. It’s just taking off. – Bill Marino, Director of the Lakewood -West Colfax Business improvement District

The West Rail Line — or W Line — is the first completed project in the $6.5 billion FasTracks mass transit package approved by voters in 2004 and paid for with a 0.4 percent sales tax. The Regional Transportation District projects the line will initially carry more than 19,300 riders daily, which is slightly more than the entire population of Golden.

If you are interested in learning more about light rail transit and how it can benefit your city, contact RWA today and let us help you.

Denver RTD Light Railimage credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious on flickr

Maryland Making A Push For Federal Support To Build Two Light Rail Systems

In an article by the Baltimore Sun, state officials for Maryland went to Washington D.C. to assure the administration that the state has both the means and the will to build two light rail systems.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown met with U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari and the deputy administrator for the Federal Transit Administration to let them know that Maryland has the resources and that they are at a critical point.

State officials hope to persuade both federal agencies to partner with the Maryland to help fund the cost of two large public works projects. The $2.58 billion Red Line that would run 14 miles from Woodlawn to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Campus and the $2.15 billion Purple Line that would run 16 miles from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

The state has already put into place several strategies to help increase Maryland’s opportunity to receive federal funding. First, they approved a gas tax that will add $4.4 billion over the next six years to the transportation trust fund. Secondly, the General Assembly approved legislation that creates the framework for public-private partnerships to pay for infrastructure improvements and other projects.

The Maryland Transit Administration has set a 2015 start date for both lines with a completion date of 2020 or 2021.

RWA supports Maryland’s push to receive federal funding for light rail transit. RWA know the impact that The Tide has had on the City of Norfolk and will continue to have on the Hampton Roads region into the future. To learn more about the challenges to starting a light rail project, contact RWA today.

Future Maryland Light Rail Transitimage credit: James Willamor on flickr

HRT To Study Expansion Of The Tide To Naval Station Norfolk

Hampton Roads Transit announced recently that they have hired an engineering firm to conduct The Tide expansion to Naval Station Norfolk. The hiring of the firm to commence with the study is the first formal step toward expansion of The Tide to Naval Station Norfolk.

The engineering firm will determine which mode of transportation, light rail or bus service, would be a better solution for high capacity mass transit into the world’s largest naval base. HRT says high capacity transit to the base has been of interest to regional planners as well as commuters.

HRT also said the study will take 15 months and will be financed through federal and state funding. It will be the first year of a multi-year federal study process that is necessary if Norfolk wants to receive federal construction dollars.

RWA knows that this study will be a positive opportunity for Hampton Roads. The Tide provides affordable and efficient transportation for the City of Norfolk. To learn more about the benefits of light rail transportation, contact RWA today.

The Tide Naval Station Norfolkimage credit: norfolkdistrict on flickr

Open Letter: Light Rail Could Fix Parking Problem At The University Of Rochester

Light rail is the solution to a parking problem plaguing the University of Rochester, at least according to one writer. Kevin Yost wrote the Democrat and Chronicle to voice his solution to fix the parking issues.

 There is a solution to the parking crunch at University of Rochester and its surrounding neighborhood. Namely, a public light-rail system could run from Charlotte through downtown and the Plymouth-Exchange Neighborhood, and use the former Erie Lackawanna right-of-way and its bridge over the Genesee River, serve the university and also run out to Rochester Institute of Technology, Park Point, and end at the new urbanist Erie Station Village in Henrietta.

A branch line from the university could also serve College Town, Monroe Community College, Pittsford and Fairport, while another branch could serve South Town Plaza, The Marketplace mall and Calkins and Lehigh Station roads. There should also be other light-rail and commuter rail lines serving the city and other suburban areas as well.



Light rail has proven to be an affordable and efficient means of transportation for the residents in the City of Norfolk. To learn more about how light rail can benefit your city, contact RWA today.  

light rail transitimage credit: camknows on flickr

Another Glowing Testimonial – This Time from the President of the U.S. – Nigeria Trade Council

Titus O. Olowokere, President, U.S. – Nigeria Trade Council

It was a pleasure meeting … at the Africa-America International Business Forum. On behalf of the Planning Committee of the Business Forum, I want to thank you once again for your participation. Your presentation on “Africa’s Economic Growth Potentials in Light Rail” was very well received. The information in the panel discussion was scholarly, informative, very timely and was speaking from the heart. Our only regret is that we didn’t have more time to discuss the topic with you in more detail.

We hope that you enjoyed meeting the members of the business community present, and that you will consider returning in the future to participate in other programs for the professional improvement of our Business Community in Georgia, and to foster bilateral trade relations with other national economies.

Again, a huge thank you! I look forward to future collaboration with you.”

Light Rail Development Brings Economic Growth Along For The Ride

The opponents of light rail often reference the cost of light rail development and the impact it would have on many states’ already depleted transportation budgets. An often over looked benefit to light rail development is the economic growth that comes along with it.

According to APTA, the American Public Transportation Association, for every $1 spent in light rail development, there are $7 spent in economic development around that light rail.

Light Rail Economic Development Success Stories

  • Kenosha, WI — Over $120 million in economic development.
  • Tampa, FL — Over $600 million prior to construction and then more than $2 billion in economic development.
  • Memphis, TN — $137 million in economic development.
  • Portland, OR — $2.3 billion in economic development.
  • Charlotte, NC — $400 million in economic development.
  • Dallas, TX – $8 billion in economic development

Randy Wright & Associates was heavily involved in bringing light rail to Hampton Roads. With the implementation of The Tide light rail system in Norfolk, we have seen over $500 million in economic development in the short time that The Tide has been active.

If you would like to learn more about how light rail can benefit your city, head on over to the transportation consulting page to continue the discussion.

The Tideimage credit: VaDOT on flickr

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