Zero Fare for Youth and More Changes Approved by RTD Board

At its board meeting on Tuesday, July 25, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors approved a new fare structure, policies and programs that will provide lower costs for adult customers and one year of no-cost transit for youth throughout the district. The fare changes were developed as part of RTD’s systemwide fare study and equity analysis, a yearlong review aimed at creating a fare structure that is more equitable, affordable and simple.

Approved changes to the fare structure include:

  • A new Standard fare ($2.75 for a 3-hour pass; $5.50 for a day pass; $88 for a monthly pass) for full-fare customers to all destinations except Denver International Airport. Airport fare, for SkyRide and A Line trips that begin or end at the airport, is $10
  • A single Discount fare ($1.35 for a 3-hour pass; $2.70 for a day pass; $27 for a monthly pass) that provides access to any RTD destination, including the airport, for seniors 65 and older, individuals with disabilities, Medicare recipients and individuals enrolled in LiVE, RTD’s income-based fare discount program
  • Zero Fare for Youth, a 12-month pilot program allowing youth ages 19 and under to use RTD services at no cost
  • Simplified pass programs, bulk purchases and a grant program that will give employers and other organizations more opportunities to provide transit benefits to clients and employees  
  • An expansion of the LiVE program that would increase the number of customers eligible to enroll, based on higher income limits and removal of in-district address requirements. In addition, income-eligible customers using paratransit services can enroll in and receive LiVE discounts on Access-a-Ride fares ($2.25 standard fare; $9.50 airport fare) for the first time

The approved fare structure design was informed by financial, operational, technical and Title VI fare equity considerations, in addition to feedback provided by thousands of customers and community members through virtual and in-person meetings, community events, 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,” RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson said. “I am grateful for the thoughtful, comprehensive and purposeful work by staff, and I extend my thanks to the thousands of people across the region who shared their thoughts and ideas over the course of this important project.”

Now through August, customers can use all RTD services at no cost as part of the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative. In September, the yearlong Zero Fare for Youth pilot will begin, providing no-cost transit for youth to coincide with the start of the school year. All other changes to the fare structure will be implemented in the first quarter of 2024.

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