Free MallRide

There's so much to see and do downtown

Experience the sights and sounds of downtown Denver with RTD's Free 16th Street MallRide. Our shuttle bus is your ride to great restaurants, shops, theatre, galleries, tourist attractions, and businesses up and down the mall.

New Look, Same FREE Service

Introducing new 16th Street Free MallRide Buses

Later this year, you’ll see brand new vehicles on the mall. The 16th Street FREE MallRide vehicles are being replaced with new electric buses sporting a bold, modern paint scheme.

The new Free MallRide vehicles are powered by battery and are fully electric. The new vehicles will have three doors like the current model, 18 seats, two wheel chair spaces, and can hold a maximum of 112 passengers. The new vehicles will also have air-conditioning!

The new fleet of vehicles will begin carrying passengers in late August. The 36 new buses will replace the current fleet that are approximately 16 years old and have more than 200,000 miles each. The 16th Street Mall is approximately 1 mile long – that’s a lot of trips up and down the mall!

Schedule

Traveling from one end of Denver's bustling 16th Street Mall to the other, the Free MallRide runs seven days a week and stops on every block between Civic Center and Union Station. The Free MallRide starts running at 4:59 a.m. on weekdays, 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:30 a.m. on Sundays/holidays. Service continues throughout the day with the last complete round-trip of the night starting out at 1:21 a.m. from Union Station to Civic Center Station.

Weekday

First trip departs Union Station
4:59 a.m.
Free MallRide shuttles run approximately every light cycle during the following high ridership time periods:
6:00 am to 9:00 am
11:30 am to 2:00 pm
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
All other times, Free MallRide shuttles will run from every 3 to 15 minutes.
Last trip departs Union Station
1:21 a.m.

Weekend

First trip departs Union Station
5:23 a.m. on Saturday
6:08 a.m. on Sunday
All weekend Free MallRide shuttles will run from:
every 4 to 15 minutes
Last trip departs Union Station
1:21 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays

Actual schedules are based on traffic cycles. Times shown are approximate and can be affected by construction, weather, boardings/de-boardings of passengers with mobility aids, special events, etc.

Free MallRide Map

RTD 16th Street Free MallRide route map

Download PDF map

Your new option: The Free MetroRide

We've added a brand new free bus service downtown to complement the Free MallRide: The Free MetroRide. This service offers weekday rush-hour service between Union Station and Civic Center Station, making limited stops along 18th and 19th Streets.

History of the Mall and Transit in Downtown Denver

1982

16th Street Mall opens as a pedestrian and transit mall with FREE bus service between Market Street Station and Civic Center Station. Construction of the mall was funded by a $75 million grant from the Federal Interstate Highway Transfer Funds and Federal Urban Mass Transit Administration, with RTD providing a local match.

The new transit and pedestrian mall provided transit hubs for RTD buses at either end of downtown, removing more than 600 bus trips per day that traversed up and down 16th and 17th streets, contributing to both air and traffic congestion.

1982-1999
First generation diesel fuel Free MallRide buses used to transport millions of passengers per year.
1994
Light rail service begins operating between 30th & Downing to I-25 & Broadway on October 7. A total of 11 light rail vehicles operate along the 5.3 miles carrying 16,000 passengers per weekday. This section is what is now called the D Line.
1999-2016
Second generation ultra-low emission hybrid-electric Free MallRide buses used to transport more than 13 million passengers a year (2014-2015 ridership statistics).
2000
Light rail service extends 8.7 miles southwest to Mineral Avenue.
2001
RTD purchased Union Station and begins developing the master plan for redeveloping 19.85 acres in LoDo.
2002
Light rail begins operating on a 1.8 mile light rail extension to Union Station through the Central Platte Valley (C Line).
2006
Light rail service extends 19 miles south to Lincoln (E, F, and H Lines) and Nine Mile.
2010
Construction on Union Station begins.
2011
Light rail (C and E Lines) relocated to west end of Union Station.
2013
W Line to Golden opens.
2014
Union Station Bus Concourse opens and Market Street Station closes after 30 years of service. The historic Union Station building is reopened.
2016
Commuter rail service begins operating out of Union Station with University of Colorado A Line to DIA, B Line to Westminster and G Line to Wheat Ridge (coming soon).
New all-electric Free MallRide shuttle buses go into service