A scavenger race through Denver to promote free transit

To mark the beginning of a month of free transit in Denver, we organized a scavenger race using buses and trains.

Staff | TPIN
RTD Board member Kate Williams speaks to participants of CoPIRG's Transit Scavenger Race

To celebrate free rides on RTD all August, we organized a Transit Scavenger Race last Saturday with our members and staff.

We started at Confluence Park in downtown Denver & raced for 1.5 hours taking a minimum of three different transit routes to complete the race. RTD Board of Director Kate Williams joined us at the start line to kick us off.

As one of the participants, I’m excited to report that it was a lot of fun…and only the beginning.

We’ve got additional events and community rides on buses and trains planned for the rest of the month. Check out the calendar at the bottom of this website.

What was the Scavenger Race? Well, we raced across Denver with list of items that we had to find and snap a picture of. Whoever found everything, took their pictures, rode a minimum of three different transit lines, and made it back to the finish line first, was the winner.


Staff | TPIN
Murals, food trucks, new friends on the bus, and something made in Colorado (a penny) were all required to complete the Transit Scavenger Race

The items we had to take pictures of included:

  • “Wild animal, not a pet”
  • Sculpture
  • Stained glass window
  • Selfie with a stranger
  • Street performer
  • Food truck
  • Thrift store
  • Something made in Colorado

I raced with my daughter and I’m proud to say she figured out that the penny she had in her pocket was made at the Denver mint (look for a small “D” below the date). I didn’t believe her, but I looked it up and it’s true, saving us a stop since it was already in our possession.

We checked the box “selfie with a stranger” and “food truck” when we stumbled on a Latin American celebration on Auraria’s campus. I dream of traveling and overlook all the ways you can explore the world in our own communities…if we just get out there.

As we were racing we had some great conversations w/ other riders and made some new friends. It’s an often overlooked benefit of transit – getting somewhere while at the same time interacting with people.

We also got cussed at by someone. When I tried to interact with them, they told me to stop riding the bus and get on my helicopter. We can’t underestimate how these experiences drive people away from transit but I don’t think the answer is to stop riding the bus.

We supported a street performer, checked out a farmer’s market, & checked off brewery and local coffee shop (closed but still counts).

Made it across the finish line and got a certificate and a prize! It was hot, hot, hot and the RTD buses and trains offered a nice respite from the heat as we moved around. Though I really could have used a bathroom with the water I was drinking.

Our final souvenir of the day – feet tans that can attest to the sun. You have the rest of August to ride RTD for free.



Danny Katz

Executive Director, CoPIRG Foundation

Danny has been the director of CoPIRG for over a decade. Danny co-authored a groundbreaking report on the state’s transit, walking and biking needs and is a co-author of the annual “State of Recycling” report. He also helped write a 2016 Denver initiative to create a public matching campaign finance program and led the early effort to eliminate predatory payday loans in Colorado. Danny serves on the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Efficiency and Accountability Committee, CDOT's Transit and Rail Advisory Committee, RTD's Reimagine Advisory Committee, the Denver Moves Everyone Think Tank, and the I-70 Collaborative Effort. Danny lobbies federal, state and local elected officials on transportation electrification, multimodal transportation, zero waste, consumer protection and public health issues. He appears frequently in local media outlets and is active in a number of coalitions. He resides in Denver with his family, where he enjoys biking and skiing, the neighborhood food scene and raising chickens.

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