Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Tolling Equity Program

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GES Tolling Equity Program Background

The Colorado Transportation Investment Office (CTIO), a government-owned business within the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) responsible for financing and operating Express Lanes, embarked on a year-long stakeholder engagement process to comply with the federal requirement on the Central 70 project to provide discounted access to Express Lanes for low-income residents of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES). 

The Central 70 GES Tolling Equity Program was approved by the CTIO Board of Directors in April of 2022 after significant engagement with the steering committee established to guide the process, peer agencies nationwide, the GES community, council members, and other local stakeholders.

What is the Program?

There are two main elements to the program.

  1. Toll credit each year for eligible residents to access the Express Lanes.
  2. Free Transit passes will be available within the community at distribution sites.
    You don’t have to choose! Eligible GES residents can receive both.

How do I register Interest?

NorthEast Transportation Connections (NETC) is helping with enrollments, distribution of transit passes, and community outreach. To be notified when registration for the program begins, visit this NETC web page available in English and Spanish and fill out the form at the bottom or text Yes (for English updates) or Si (for Spanish updates) to (866) 828-0805.

  • Residents of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES) with an annual household income below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) - e.g., $55,500 for a four-person household as of 2022. To check if your address is within the GES boundary's click the icon in the top right-hand corner of the map [ ] and then add your address to the search bar by clicking on the magnifying glass.  
  • Households displaced from GES due to the Central 70 Project with an annual household income below 200% of the FPL. CDOT holds a list of these displaced households.
  • Approximately 5,623 GES residents are eligible for the program, corresponding to just over half (53%) of all households in these communities.
All eligible participants that have a vehicle registered to their GES address and apply to be on the program will receive a switchable transponder and promotional credit totaling a monetary value of $100 when they enroll in the program. To register your interest in receiving information on how to apply, visit the NETC webpage available in English and Spanish.
Up to 7,800 RTD transit passes (10-ride local ticket books) will be provided in the community in the first year. CTIO and NorthEast Transportation Connections (NETC) will coordinate with local organizations to become distribution centers to create accessible places for eligible residents to pick up passes. The distribution centers will assess and determine the make-up of transit passes to best serve the community (Monthly, local/regional ticket books, etc.)

Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help manage congestion on Colorado's highways. They offer choice by allowing drivers to ride the bus, carpool, or pay a toll and use as a solo driver as an alternative to the free general-purpose lanes.

The Central 70 Express Lanes have opened for testing. They will be free during the testing period and drivers are encouraged to use them throughout 2022 ahead of tolling commencement in early 2023. 

Express Lanes work to move more people rather than move more cars. By presenting choices, Express Lanes reduce delays, help manage congestion and keep travel times reliable for motorists. 

The Central 70 Express Lane tolls will change in price depending on the level of congestion. As traffic increases, the toll price goes up to make sure the lane always remains a free-flowing alternative for travelers. Conversely, the toll price will decrease when there is less traffic in the lane. Drivers will always be charged the amount on the overhead signage when they enter the Express Lane.

Click here (English) or here (Spanish) for more information on Express Lanes and how to use them, particularly if you are carpooling with three or more people.

What do recipients get?
Toll credit: All eligible participants that have a vehicle registered to their GES address will receive a switchable transponder and promotional credit totaling a monetary value of $100 when they enroll in the program.
Transit Passes: Up to 7,800 RTD transit passes (10-ride local ticket books) will be provided in the community in the first year. CTIO and its community partners will consult with residents to determine the best make up of transit passes (monthly, local/regional ticket books etc.)

How will the program be funded each year?
Each year, 15% (estimated at $220,000 in the first year) of the net toll revenue from the Central 70 Express Lanes will be committed to fund the benefits for this program. Administrative costs of the program and the cost of the toll credit will be borne by CTIO when eligible participants first register.

Will the community have a say?
Yes! There will be engagement with the community to help decide how the allocated funds will be divided each year between the transit passes and toll credit.

When does this start?
CTIO will be working with Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC) to conduct outreach and register community members for the program. Registration for toll credit will begin in the Fall/Winter of 2022/2023. Transit passes will be available at the beginning of 2023.

How long will the program last?
There is currently no end date for the program. However, the program will be evaluated periodically to ensure it meets the community's needs and is fit for purpose.

What are the next steps and how do I register interest?
North East Transportation Connections (NETC) is helping with enrollments, distribution of transit passes, and community outreach. To be notified when registration for the program begins visit this NETC web page (available in English and Spanish) and fill out the form at the bottom of the page or text Yes (for English updates) or Si (for Spanish updates) to (866) 828-0805.