Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Every 3 years, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) review’s its current fares to evaluate if a fare change is necessary. In 2018, a proposal formed by a 25-member Pass Program Working Group (PPWG) put forth a recommendation to be considered by the public and RTD’s Board to address transit affordability for low-income riders. The PPWG recommendation (also known as “Option 3”) is a proposal that would offer a 40% discount for families living under 185% of FPL (as carefully recommended and modeled by the PPWG), and an increased discount for youth.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, in coordination with Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, Public Works, Office of Economic Development, Office of Children's Affairs, and more, released a statement letter to RTD supporting the PPWG recommendation to support safe, reliable, and affordable options for Denver residents.
In September 2018, after almost two years of study by a working group of elected officials and transit advocates, the RTD Board of Directors approved a low-income discount pass for transit riders who make up to 185% of the Federal poverty level. (For example, a family of four making $46,435 would qualify for RTD passes that are 40% less than the full fare. A 3-hour ride pass is currently $3; with the 40% discount, the fare would be $1.80.) This low-income discount pass will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
A 70% discount was also approved for youth, expanding transportation options for those 19 and younger to get to school, jobs, parks and recreation, and other opportunities. The youth discount went into effect on January 1, 2019.
Transit supporters turned out to RTD public meetings in droves over the last year to voice the critical need for affordable transit to access opportunity through jobs, school, health care, and independent living for those who don't drive.