Privatization Deja Vu

It’s the crisis of the week. Both daily newspapers in Denver are carrying stories regarding the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) FasTracks transportation expansion plan, and it’s whopping deficit of $670 million dollars.

Because of the financial predicament, RTD is expected to privatize light rail and bus lines in an effort to reduce the damage. That means hungry bidders ready to escort members of the public to their planned destinations.

In fact, one has already been mentioned. The Rocky Mountain News featured an article yesterday about Veolia Transportation, a business with a history of heavy lobbying in Colorado. Then there are the allegations of one of the company’s subsidiaries violating state lobbying laws. From the report:

RTD need look no farther than its backyard for one company that is eager to bid on privately building and operating some of the new FasTracks corridors to save money.

Veolia

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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