RTD Denver approves new fare structure and youth transit programme

Posted: 31 July 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of its efforts to make public transportation more equitable, RTD Denver’s new fare structure and youth transit programme will help remove barriers to transit access and enhance mobility options for customers throughout the district.

RTD Denver approves new fare structure and youth transit programme

Credit: RTD Denver

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has announced that its Board of Directors has recently given the green light to a comprehensive fare structure overhaul, aimed at making public transit more affordable and equitable for customers. The approved changes, developed after a year long review and equity analysis, promise lower costs for adult riders and a one-year free transit programme for youth throughout the district.

The new fare structure includes a standard fare of $2.75 for a 3-hour pass, $5.50 for a day pass and $88 for a monthly pass, applicable to all full-fare customers except those travelling to or from Denver International Airport, who will pay a separate $10 Airport fare for SkyRide and A Line trips.

In addition, a single discount fare of $1.35 for a 3-hour pass, $2.70 for a day pass and $27 for a monthly pass has been introduced for seniors aged 65 and older, individuals with disabilities, Medicare recipients and participants of RTD’s income-based fare discount programme known as LiVE. This discount fare allows access to any RTD destination, including the airport.

According to RTD, one of the ground-breaking changes is the “Zero Fare for Youth” initiative, a 12-month pilot programme that grants youth aged 19 and under the opportunity to use RTD services at no cost. This programme aims to encourage more young people to utilise public transit and is set to begin alongside the new school year in September 2023.

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Moreover, the approved fare structure features simplified pass programmes, bulk purchases and a grant programme to empower employers and organisations to provide transit benefits to their clients and employees.

The decision to revamp the fare system has not been made in isolation; it is a result of extensive financial, operational, technical and equity considerations, as well as valuable feedback from thousands of customers and community members gathered through virtual and in-person meetings, surveys, focus groups and public comments.

“With the Board of Directors’ approval of this new fare structure, RTD is removing barriers to transit access and reconciling longstanding concerns from customers and the community regarding the high cost and complexity of fares currently in place,” said RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson.

As a prelude to the fare changes in 2024, the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative allows customers to ride all RTD services for free throughout August 2023. Subsequently, the year long Zero Fare for Youth pilot will begin in September 2023, providing no-cost transit for young riders. All other fare structure changes will be fully implemented in the first quarter of 2024.

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