In the news

The Colorado Springs Gazette
Garrison Wells

IImagine a 35-minute trip to downtown Denver from downtown Colorado Springs on a train that hits a top speed of 250 mph.

The landscape blurs by. The coffee is piping.

And gas prices are not a bother.

It's an image that - at least conceptually - Colorado Springs residents like.

Colorado Public Interest Research Group wants to take that message to the Colorado Department of Transportation and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The consumer advocacy organization this summer will campaign to build support for high-speed rail in Colorado. This month and in early June, members will canvass local residents door to door, said Danny Katz, CoPIRG director.

The campaign, which will wrap up in August, will also take the organization to the El Paso County Commissioners and Colorado Springs City Council.

"They have a huge stake in decisions," Katz said. "High-speed rail can have a positive impact locally. We also believe that a lot of businesses will benefit from it."

CoPIRG plans to use the input to encourage the Colorado Department of Transportation to complete a study on regional connectivity - which includes high-speed rail - with enough detail that the proposal could be presented to voters.

"We want to keep the studies moving forward so we are continuing to the day when we, as Coloradans, can decide whether we can actually build this thing," Katz said. "There's a ton of support for the concept of high-speed rail, and it's worth spending the money to complete the studies because it's an important part of our future."

Top selling points, he said, will be the route - downtown Colorado Springs to downtown Denver - and speed.

"You tend to get the biggest benefit, most riders and attract more tourists when trains go faster," Katz said.


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