Speak up for affordable transit fares! Attend an upcoming RTD open house

by Jessica Vargas on July 19, 2018

New fare recommendations from the RTD Pass Program Working Group would make transit more accessible for low-income Denverites

As Denver works toward the goals of eliminating traffic fatalities and reducing the percent of people who drive alone to work, improving transit access is crucial to expanding safe and healthy mobility options for all Denverites. Once the City completes its Denver Moves: Transit plan outlining a 20-year transit vision and implementation plan, extensive coordination with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) will be required to create a connected, efficient, and affordable transit system.  But with transit ridership in Denver declining in recent years, RTD has been looking at ways to reverse this trend, including an overhaul of its existing pass programs.

In March 2017, RTD convened a 25-member working group, including RTD staff and external stakeholders with expertise in transportation, social justice/advocacy, education, business, and neighborhood groups, to participate in the Pass Program Study. The group’s recommendations include the addition of a Low Income Bus Pass Program, a 40% discount to individuals at 185% of the Federal Poverty Level or $22,459/year. This discount would be similar to those already offered to seniors, people with disabilities and youth ages 6-19. They also recommended the addition of a a youth pass, which would discount the fare for riders 13 through 19 years old by 70 percent. Children 12 years old and younger would ride free with a fare-paying rider.

The Denver Streets Partnership, which WalkDenver is a member of, strongly supports the working group’s recommendations. Transportation is typically the second highest cost in a household budget, after housing. An affordable fare pass would alleviate part of the rapidly increasing cost of living in Denver. Lowering the cost of transit helps some of Denver’s most vulnerable populations break the cycle of poverty and increase their economic mobility by providing them access to jobs, housing, schools, medical care and meeting their daily needs. This is especially true for the 46% of local bus riders who do not have access to a car.

As Streetsblog Denver reports, these recommendations will only become reality with the approval of the elected RTD Board of Directors. They have the option of adopting the changes as outlined by the working group, adopting only parts of it, or none of it all. If you’d like to learn more about the proposed changes and speak up in support of affordable fares, you can submit comments online or attend an upcoming open house:

  • Lakewood
    Clements Community Center
    1580 Yarrow Street
    Thursday, July 19, 2018
    6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Montbello
    Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver
    4397 Crown Boulevard
    Saturday, July 21, 2018
    Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Aurora
    Aurora Municipal Center
    15151 E. Alameda Parkway City Café, 2nd Floor
    Monday, July 23, 2018
    6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • South Denver
    Thomas Jefferson High School
    3950 S. Holly Street
    Tuesday, July 24, 2018
    6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Downtown Denver
    RTD Administrative Offices
    1660 Blake Street,
    Rooms T & D
    Wednesday, July 25, 2018
    Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Thornton
    Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center
    11151 Colorado Blvd
    Rooms B & C
    Thursday, July 26, 2018
    6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

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