Every bus, every train will be free to ride in the Denver area July and August

The Zero Fare for Better Air program expands to two months this summer.

RTD bus during Zero Fare August
Staff | TPIN
All buses, all trains will be free to ride in the Denver region July and August

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Is it free to ride transit in Denver this summer?

Yes – during July and August, every train and bus in the RTD system is free to ride. RTD’s system provides transit service across the Denver region. Enter your address or destination here to see the routes near you.

You can also use RTD’s trip planner tool.

Passengers board RTD trainPhoto by RTD | Used by permission

Where can I take free transit?

During July and August you can ride for free anywhere in RTD’s system. That includes a bus up to Nederland or out to Golden to go hiking, the train to the airport, and any buses or trains to work.

Here’s 12 great ideas of places you can ride transit to this summer.

Can I take free transit to Casa Bonita and Meow Wolf?

Yes. The 16 bus travels along Colfax to Casa Bonita. You can use the E and W rail lines to access Meow Wolf. All transit will be free July and August.

Use RTD’s trip planner tool to find the best connections.

Will buses and trains be free at night and on the weekends?

Yes – all day, every day in July and August you can hop on an RTD bus or train. For a schedule of their services click here.

RTD bus in downtown Denver.Photo by RTD | Used by permission

Are the buses and the train to Denver International Airport free?

Yes – this July and August you can ride the buses and trains for free to and from the airport.

The train is one transit option to Denver International Airport.Photo by RTD | Used by permission

Is there a limit to how many times I can ride free transit?

No – ride as much as you want! Take it to work, to school, to the grocery store, to dinner and to check out concerts, games or shows at major venues like Fiddler’s Green, Denver Performing Arts Center, Ball Arena, Coors Field, Folsom Field, the Arvada Center, Casa Bonita, Meow Wolf and Mile High stadium.

Does free transit get more people to ride?

RTD saw a 22% increase in ridership during last summer’s free transit month. We’re talking 1 million more boardings. So, yes. More people rode.

In addition to reducing or eliminating fares, we also know that better transit service (picture buses or trains coming every 5-10 minutes and going to more places) is also critical for recruiting lots more people to ride. We’re launched the Alliance to Transform Transportation to find ways to expand transit service.

Volunteers celebrate the success of the August 2022 RTD Zero Fare for Better Air programPhoto by Staff | TPIN

Why are the buses and trains free this summer?

The Denver region suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the country. Too often during the summer, we are living under an Ozone Alert and are advised to reduce outdoor activities.

One of the largest sources of ozone pollutants is tailpipe emissions from vehicles. A simple way to reduce air pollution and clean up our air is to ride buses and trains to complete some of our trips.

To make riding transit easier, in 2022, the state legislature passed and Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that funnels millions of dollars to transit agencies, like RTD, so they can eliminate fares during ozone season without having to reduce service.

In 2023, another bill updated and expanded the program – a key piece of our ozone agenda this year.

So, free transit will help reduce air pollution, save people money and expand travel options for millions of residents and visitors.

RTD’s Zero Fare for Better Air logoPhoto by RTD | Used by permission




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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