Bill to cut fares for some transit riders passes legislature

Media Contacts

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 8, 2024


Statement: Bill to cut fares for some transit riders passes legislature
Limited funds allow transit agencies statewide to offer free fares for youth or seasonal zero-fare months to cut pollution

DENVER – The Colorado General Assembly passed a measure today aimed at cutting fares for youth and continuing successful ozone zero fare programs. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Sponsored by Senators Priola and Winter and Reps. Marvin and Vigil, SB24-032 will help transit agencies access a pool of money to be used either for youth zero-fare or ozone zero-fare programs. 

Thanks to funding allocated by the state legislature in the past two years, Colorado implemented a grant program for local transit agencies across the state to offer fare-free transit to increase transit ridership and reduce pollution from tailpipes during the heart of our state’s ozone air pollution season. In the Denver metro area alone, transit ridership jumped 22% (about 1 million additional rides) during the first year of the program. Colorado Springs saw a record number of riders last summer

This year, SB24-032 continues that work. While not enough to fully fund both youth zero-fare and ozone season zero-fare programs for every agency, it gives agencies flexibility so they can maximize the remaining funds for these successful ridership boosting programs. 

In response to the bill’s passage, CoPIRG Advocate Kirsten Schatz shared the following statement:

“While it’s disappointing there wasn’t enough funding this year to cover both ozone season zero-fare grants as well as free transit fares for youth, it’s still great that transit agencies across our state will be able to access resources to help them offer one of these programs. With our next ozone season around the corner, when Coloradans are regularly advised to stay indoors since the air is unhealthy to breathe, it’s clear we still need to find a way to provide long-term funding to these programs that give people across our state more choices for getting around than always having to jump in a car.”