Denver Public Transportation How-To
Denver’s public transportation is easy, inexpensive and convenient. You can get pretty much anywhere in the Mile High City by light rail or bus, and oftentimes get there faster than by car. Below, you’ll find some info and tips on how to take advantage of Denver’s public transportation. Hop on board!
Riding the Bus
First, check out www.rtd-denver.com, the Regional Transportation District’s extremely user-friendly homepage for routes, fares and other pertinent info. If you’re craving the personal touch, however, you can call the RTD Telephone Information Center. Just tell the experts there where you want to catch the bus, where you want to go and when you want to get there. They’ll help you plan your trip (including your return home), complete with route numbers, fares and answers to any questions you might have. Note: the Information Center is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Next step? Head to your stop! All bus stops have red and white signs that list each bus route that stops at that location, so double check for your route number. Take note, there’s a good chance that your return bus stop is located right across the street. As the bus approaches, check the electronic sign above the windshield to make sure this is indeed the bus you want. Wait for the bus to come to a full stop. The doors will open and you can hop on!
Please note: Drivers do NOT carry or make change – so make sure you have exact change (bills or coins) or a pass before you get on the bus. If you need to change buses to get to your final destination, ask the driver for a transfer slip, which will get you on to your next bus. RTD offers a variety of PassAdvantage fare programs, saving you money off regular cash fares. By purchasing passes or ticket books in advance, you will not have to worry about having exact change available every time you ride the bus. Check www.rtd-denver.com for details.
Now that you’re on the bus, sit back and relax! The driver will announce stops over the loudspeaker, so wait until you hear yours. You may need to pull the “Stop Requested” cord above your head to let the driver know you want to get off. Exit the bus through the rear door if the bus has two doors. Always wait for the bus to leave before you cross the street, and never walk in front of the bus.
Riding the Light Rail
Again, check out www.rtd-denver.com first, for routes, fares and other pertinent info. And you can call the RTD Telephone Information Center for light rail info, too – they’re happy to help!
Next, head to the station. They’re easy to find thanks to their open design, art work and red and white signs on nearby streets leading to the stations. Most of the RTD light rail stations have park-n-Ride lots where you can park for free. Bus routes and/or call-n-Rides also serve many stations. At the station, use the ticket vending machines located at each station – unlike the bus, you need a validated ticket before you get on board. Your ticket will automatically be validated with the date and time you purchased it from the machine. An RTD bus transfer or pass will get you on the light rail, free of charge, though an upgrade may be needed if your light rail fare is more than your bus fare. Once the train is under way, a fare inspector will check your ticket.
The RTD light rail system is divided into four fare zones: A, B, C and D. The number of zones you travel in for each one-way trip determines your fare. Arriving trains stop at every station, so you don’t have to signal the driver. Once the train has stopped, the doors automatically open or you can push the lighted green button. Please wait for the passengers on the train to exit before you get on board.