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Denver, CO is in the process of developing a surface light rail system using a variety of corridors. One line already in service parallels a heavy rail line.

Some stuff to get you started:

http://home.eng.iastate.edu/~tge/ce203/group%209.pdf
http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/main_1
http://www.rtd-denver.com/

HTH

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 07:40:32 AM EST
Forgot to add: the project was financed through a bond issue approved by voters, so all the financial information will be out there on the ether somewhere.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 07:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf might be able to help, as he's in Colorado Springs.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:00:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
the project was financed through a bond issue approved by voters,

Funded by a Sales Tax, I think.

I really don't know why it is that all of the property owners along these routes should be getting an unearned windfall gain - through the rise in value of their homes (or rather of the land the homes are built on) - at the expense of everyone in Denver who pays this Sales Tax.

Simply apply a Location Benefit Levy/ Assessment proportional to the proximity of properties to stations, and use that instead of a Sales Tax.

It's not exactly Rocket Science is it?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 10:09:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, since the property owners are taxed according to the assessed value of their homes and businesses, their windfall will be factored into their assessment, so that they will pay proportionately more into Denver's (and the other municipalities'/counties') general revenues.

Given the population density structure of the Metro Denver region, a sales tax is actually more progressive here, as even those who can afford to drive and/or effectively live beyond the range of transit routes are forced to contribute to this infrastructure.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 10:52:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When London's Jubilee Line was built at a cost of about £2bn of Londoners' and general taxpayers' money, a study found that residential and commercial property values along the extension rose by an estimated £17bn.

That omits any indirect benefit accruing to the businesses along the route from having better employee access and time-keeping etc.

I doubt whether the increased assessments remotely approach a reasonable share in the windfall gains made by landowners at everyone else's expense.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 11:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... for transit projects in Oz, though its done as a transit levy in an "impact zone" rather than based on a more complex formula. However, for this project, its likely to be a development site on public land that is freed up as part of the project ... in a choice location that is served by the terminal station (which we are fighting, after all, to retain) ... which will be providing most of the permament infrastructure funding, so the public funding and farebox would be focused on the rolling stock and operating costs.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 12:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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