The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments administers the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), an innovative mechanism for local transportation funding.
With mounting transportation problems facing the Pikes Peak region, a coalition of over 50 community organizations and business leaders came together to promote a local solution to state and federal funding shortfalls. In 2004, following an extensive public education campaign, citizens of El Paso County, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Green Mountain Falls voted to create the PPRTA, granting it the authority to levy a one-cent sales tax for specific transportation projects. On January 1, 2009, the town of Ramah joined the PPRTA.
Elected officials from the five governmental entities comprise the Board of Directors, which oversees the decision-making process for the PPRTA. Complementing this process, a 17-member Citizens Advisory Committee monitors the budget and makes recommendations regarding contracts over $25,000.
Allocations of the one-cent sales tax include 55 percent for a voter-approved list of capital projects, 35 percent for additional maintenance such as street overlays and pothole patching, and 10 percent for expanding the Mountain Metro bus system. The capital improvements portion of the PPRTA will sunset on January 1, 2015.
As part of the ballot issue, voters approved a three-tiered list of priority capital improvement projects, which many consider as key to the success of the PPRTA’s passage. From bridge replacement to intersection operations and traffic flow improvements, the PPRTA projects cover a wide spectrum of transportation needs. An “A” list of 45 projects must be completed first before a “B” list of 16 projects and a “C” list of 11 projects can begin.
As of December 31, 2009, the member governments participating in the PPRTA have achieved the following transportation improvements since early 2005:
- 19 out of 45 capital projects are completed
- 11 capital projects in design stage
- 2 capital projects in construction stage
- 489 miles of asphalt overlay
- 145 repaired bridges
- 301,024 linear feet of concrete curbing
- 83,800 hours per year of additional Metro Transit Bus Service
Visit the PPRTA website at http://www.pprta.com/.