Coloradoan public transit zero-fare initiative to launch Monday

The statewide initiative will see the Regional Transportation District (RTD) join 30 other transit agencies in waiving fares for the month of August

DENVER — Buses, trains, oh my!

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) will be making all trips made on buses, trains, Access-a-Rides, and FlexRides free starting this upcoming Monday. In addition, 30 other transit agencies from across Colorado are also poised to waive fares to their entire systems.

With Colorado’s peak ozone season looming, RTD says that they’re hoping that these free fares will encourage more new riders to take public transit, thus reducing the amount of people on the roads.

According to RTD, they will continue to operate under their current service plan for the duration of the initiative and that adjustments (such as added rail cars or extra buses) will be made as necessary to meet the increased demand.

“Providing a full month of zero fare is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the value transit brings to the communities served and encourage the public to see firsthand how we make lives better through connections,” General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson said. “It’s widely known that new habits can be formed within weeks. This month will enable anyone unfamiliar with the RTD system to hop onboard, give the service a try and evaluate whether to modify their travel behavior.”

The one-month pilot program will be managed by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and is made possible with funding from Colorado Senate Bill 22-180. According to the bill’s language, the money obtained from the bill can be used to cover lost fare box revenues and to pay for other expenses as necessary to implement the program.

August will also see half-price fares on Bustang, Outrider, and Pegasus buses operated by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). That means anyone living in the RTD region could visit Grand Junction for $21.50, Vail for $8.50, Fort Collins for $5, Colorado Springs for $6, Buena Vista for $12, and Durango for $43. The half-off promotion will end September 5.

“Implementing a half-price fare is a great opportunity for people to evaluate all our transit services while we’re in our peak traffic season, especially in the high country,” said CDOT Division of Transit and Rail Director Amber Blake. “In addition, our system provides another option for commuting or for recreation, especially while the price of gas remains prohibitively high. It also can help make your trip safer and more enjoyable.”

For more information on the ‘Zero Fare for Better Air’ initiative, you can visit

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RELATED: CDOT will start expanding Bustang services in August


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