The public transportation in Denver is one of the most efficient systems in the country.
The RTD (Regional Transportation District) was even ranked #1 in national public transit systems by U.S. News and World Report. It’s a big perk for people living in Denver who prefer not to own a vehicle.
Local and Regional Bus Service
The backbone of Denver’s public transportation has to be the RTD buses. They offer Local routes serving cities like Boulder, Golden, Arvada, and downtown Denver; Regional routes that can get you all the way up into the Rockies (and are reliable even during the snowy ski season); and Express routes that can you from here to there in a jiffy. Altogether, there are 125 bus routes that drive over eight counties in Colorado.
The buses run frequently. There’s also a Park-n-Ride in practically every town, where residents can park their cars and catch the bus to save on gas costs and avoid driving in traffic.
Light Rail and Getting Around Downtown Denver
The Light Rail travels around downtown Denver, and has lines extending to the cities of Littleton, Lincoln, and Golden.
There are also two free public transportation options in Denver—the Free MetroRide, and the 16th St. Free MallRide. The MallRide takes users up and down the mile-long stretch of Denver’s 16th St. walking mall. The MetroRide caters to downtown business commuters, and runs on weekdays during rush hour in the morning and evening.
One thing residents like about Denver’s public transportation is that it offers specialty services.
· SkyRide provides service to and from DIA International Airport.
· Call-n-Ride is similar to a taxi service.
· Access-a-Ride caters to those with physical disabilities.
· Sports rides go to Broncos and Rockies games.
In keeping with Colorado’s dedication to the environment, many of Denver’s public transportation vehicles operate off of bio-diesel, or are hybrid vehicles.
Students and seniors get discounts on fares (which are already reasonable), and some businesses partner with RTD to provide employees EcoPasses—a pass for unlimited free rides on almost any RTD bus or light rail routes.
Recently voters approved FasTracks, a program to expand Denver’s public transportation options. There’s funding for 57 new stations, 31 new Park-n-Rides, 122 more miles of light rail service, a new commuter rail line launching in 2016, and more. RTD also moved its central station in downtown Denver to a completely rebuilt Union Station in LoDo (Lower Downtown). Union Station is in an old abandoned rail yard reimagined into an urban center with restaurants, hotels, open parks, and now public transportation (including Amtrak).