Expanding public transit has the potential to create thousands of new green construction and operations jobs, while getting cars off the road and improving the health of our communities.
Locating affordable housing near transit ensures equitable access for low and moderate-income workers and families and makes it easier to pay their monthly housing and transportation bills.
In November of 2004 taxpayers in the Denver Metro region voted to invest in a more environmentally friendly and better connected future by passing a sales tax to fund a mass transit expansion known as FasTracks. The build out of the transit system and associated development around transit stations will stimulate billions of dollars in economic activity and create thousands of new jobs. FRESC seeks to ensure that the benefits of these investments uplift communities and benefit working families.
A full build out of FasTracks will create more than 9,000 construction jobs per year, and hundreds of new permanent jobs – all of which have the potential to be good green jobs that improve the environment while providing families with family-supporting benefits. But due to the recession and increased costs for materials, FasTracks faces a $2 billion dollar gap that could leave entire communities without any new transit, and could slash the number of new jobs by thousands. FRESC is a leader in efforts to ensure the fullest build-out possible, such as Keep FasTracks on Track. FRESC also advances a vision for ensuring jobs really are good, green jobs, including career training pathways for underrepresented groups such as women and individuals of color.
In addition to the jobs that will be created, FasTracks also has the potential to improve the budgets of low-to-moderate income families. The combined costs of transportation and housing consume more than 45% of a typical household’s income in Denver, and more than 60% of the household income for those who are low-to-moderate income. Reducing these costs through a bigger and more efficient transit system -- with affordable housing located nearby -- will help families make ends meet and free up income for other critical needs.