USA: The Federal Transit Administration has granted a Record of Decision to the largely-unfunded 29 km North Metro commuter line in Denver, clearing the way for final design to begin.

The route would follow BNSF Railway and former Union Pacific rights-of-way from Denver Union Station to 162nd Avenue in Thornton. Total estimated cost is $904·3m, only 10% of which is available from the RTD’s FasTracks programme. Voters will be asked to approve a transport sales tax increase next year. Requests for Qualifications on a design-build contract and a systems-on-call contract for traction power and communications are due to be issued this summer.

Meanwhile, the Federal Transit Administration has sent a $1·03bn Full Funding Grant Agreement to Congress for ratification. It covers the Gold Line commuter route from Denver city centre to Arvada.