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AARP Colorado: Keep Public Transportation Service Affordable

woman at bus stop

RTD is proposing new bus fares that would go up to $2.60 for local routes, among other changes.

Light rail fares would be the same as bus fares, transfers and light rail zones would be eliminated. AARP is part of a broad coalition working to ensure the new RTD bus and rail rate structure is affordable for the Denver region’s low-income population, which is disproportionately Latino and African American and are strong public transit users.

The RTD Board of Directors is expected to approve the changes and rate hike in April or May of this year. The new rates would go into effect in 2016 when a number of new fastrack light rail lines open. There are a number of positive features to the proposal, but AARP has concerns about affordability.

Please email RTD Board Chair Charles Sisk  to ask that RTD not institute a fare increase unless it simultaneously institutes a 50 percent discounted fare and pass program for low-income riders, who have incomes that fall under 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

You may also provide comment directly to RTD staff by calling 303-299-3273, or via the online comment box,

In addition to emailing, calling and going online, AARP urges community members to attend these public hearings on the proposed changes. Your input is key if RTD is to arrive at a fare structure that is equitable and meets the needs of our diverse communities.

- March 26 at 6:30 p.m. (District B) Stapleton Master Community Association, 7350 E. 29th Ave. 300, Denver, CO 80203

- March 26 at 6:30 p.m. (District F) Aurora Municipal Center, Aurora Room, First Floor, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO 80012

- March 30, 6:30 p.m. (District L) Arvada City Hall, 8101 Ralston Road, Arvada, CO 80004

- March 30 at 6 p.m. (District J) College Hill Library, 3705 West 112th Ave. Westminster, CO 80031

- April 1 at 6:30 p.m. (District G) Parker Town Hall Council Chambers, 20120 E. Main St. Parker, CO 80138.

- April 1, 6:30 p.m. (District H) Highlands Ranch Metro District 62 Plaza Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.

- April 1 at 6:30 p.m. (District I) Longmont Public Library Room A/B, 409 Fourth Ave., Longmont, CO 80501

- April 2 at 12 p.m. (District O) Boulder Public Library, Boulder Creek Room, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302

- April 2, 6:30 p.m. (District D) Englewood Public Library, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood, CO 80110

- April 6 at 6:30 p.m. (District E) Expo Recreation Center, 10955 E. Exposition Ave., Aurora, CO 80012

- April 6, 6 p.m. (District K) Huron Street Public Library, 9417 Huron St., Thornton, CO 80206

-  April 8 at 6:30 p.m. (District N) Ken Caryl Ranch Metro District Ranch House, 7676 S. Continental Drive Road, Littleton, CO 80127

- April 8, 6:30 p.m. (All Districts) RTD Headquarters Room T&D in the basement, 1600 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202.

AARP Colorado would appreciate your feedback and support in this effort. Please contact Roberto Rey, AARP Colorado director of multicultural outreach, at 303-318-6763, or for more information, or to get involved.

The recommendations the RTD staff plan to bring forward include the following:

  • Two fare categories:

–      Local/Limited Bus and Rail

–      REX (combination of Regional and Express) Bus and DIA service (bus or rail). Airport, $10.

  • No zones on rail
  • Local/Rail: $2.60, $5.20 Day Pass

–      $2.60 rate is “pay per boarding,” with a charge each time you get onto bus or rail with no transfers unless you bought the $5 day pass.

–      Same “pay per boarding” scenario as above

  • Day pass sold on bus or light rail
  • Increase the cost of monthly pass to the equivalent of 40 boardings (currently 36) - $104
  • 10 percent discount on single boarding for all passengers paying with smart card
  • Reloadable smart card where riders could load any amount onto the card

[Photo courtesy of JLujan]


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