Denver Activists Push for Income-Based Bus Fares

In January, transit’s getting pricier in the Mile-High City.

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

Denver bus riders will see a fare increase come January, but advocates for accessible public transit are working to maintain affordability for low-income riders.

Bus fare will go from $2.25 to $2.60 each way. Regular commuters will be charged $99 for a monthly pass, which the Colorado Independent reports is out of reach for many.

Nonprofit advocacy groups, such as 9to5 Colorado, are pushing the Regional Transportation District to extend the pricing for students and seniors to families eligible for public assistance. That’s $1.30 for local one-way fares and $49 for a monthly pass.

According to the Independent, 68 percent of low-income riders don’t receive discounted passes. 9to5 previously released a report highlighting that high fares hinder accessible public transportation and Denver’s need for income-based transit passes, using Seattle as a point of reference. Seattle gives a 50 percent discount to transit riders who are within 200 percent of the poverty level. In Denver, activists suggest that RTD could give a 50 percent discount to participants who qualify for welfare.

RTD’s cutting back on bus routes to make way for light rail too, and because there will be some gaps between the closing of bus routes and implementation of light rail, advocates are also worried about cutting off already underserved communities.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

Follow Marielle .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: public transportationlight railbusesdenver

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1106 other sustainers such as:

  • Nelson at $5/Month
  • Matt at $5/Month
  • Anonymous at $5/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉