What is a transfer?
If you need to board more than one bus or light rail line to complete a one-way trip, you will need a transfer. A transfer allows passengers to make a one-way trip using combinations of RTD bus routes, light rail lines and Call-n-Rides within a specified time. A transfer is a paper receipt that will allow you to board another RTD service until the time and date shown. A validated light rail ticket also serves as a transfer. Transfers are automatic for Smart Card users. Transfers are free upon request any time cash or a ticket is used for all (or part) of a one-way fare.
General transfer rules
- Transfers are free and should be requested upon boarding when cash or a ticket is used to pay your fare.
- Validated light rail tickets serve as transfers when continuing your trip by bus. The validated light rail ticket has a value determined by the fare paid. The bus operator will collect the light rail ticket and issue a transfer as needed for subsequent boardings to complete your trip.
- The expiration time on paper transfers is 3 hours (or the next greater 20-minute time interval) from the scheduled trip start time. Factors such as service delays, detours, and inclement weather may extend the indicated expiration time.
- The fare value of the transfer is indicated by the punch on the upper left corner labeled Cir (Circulator), Loc (Local), Exp (Express) or Reg (Regional).
- The transfer has a mark to indicate the direction of travel. Transfers are not valid on the route of issue in the opposite direction unless the TB box (Turn Back) has been punched.
- Transfers can be used to make a quick stopover within the time indicated on the transfer, as long as you then continue your trip in the same direction.
- Local and Limited routes traveling the same portion of a route are considered to be the same route for the purposes of a transfer. For example, passengers may not ride a Local route in one direction and use a transfer to ride in the opposite direction on a Limited of the same route number.
- Late night transfers valid for the next morning are indicated by a punch mark in the ND (next day) box.
- The same transfer should be used for your entire trip. After inspecting the transfer, the bus operator will hand it back to you upon request for use on your next bus or train.
- Transfers are valid on all RTD bus and light rail services operated directly by RTD or by private operators under contract to RTD, with the exception that transfers may not be used for partial fare payment on special services such as BroncosRide, RockiesRide, Access-a-Ride, SeniorRide or Saturday Shopper.
Bus transfer rules
- After you pay a cash fare on the first bus, ask the driver for a "transfer". This is a paper receipt that will allow you to get on the second bus.
- Drivers issue transfers only at the time of payment, so be sure to ask when you first board.
- Transfers are valid for valid for 3 hours (or the next greater 20 minute interval) from the start time of the trip. Check your transfer for the actual expiration time.
- Passengers transferring from one branch of a route to another branch of the same route may receive a turn back transfer (TB) which is valid at bus stops within the general two to three block area of the route deviation.
- When requesting a transfer from bus to light rail, let the operator know your destination so the transfer can be issued correctly.
- Bus tranfer rules also apply to Call-n-Ride transfers. Transfers issued on a Call-n-Ride may not be used for a return trip on the Call-n-Ride that issued the transfer.
Light Rail transfer rules
- Validated light rail tickets serve as transfers when continuing a one-way trip by bus. The validated ticket has a value determined by the actual fare paid.
- Zone fares generally apply to passengers using light rail, but should also be considered when transferring between light rail and bus services. The fare zone boxes are punched in a manner that will provide the fare inspector with the best possible understanding of which station the passenger boarded.
- Zone receipts issued by ticket vending machines at the stations are only intended as proof of boarding at a particular station for those using monthly passes. They do not have any value for transportation by bus and cannot be used as transfers.
SkyRide transfer rules
Passengers transferring from Local/Limited, Express or Regional services to SkyRide may pay for a fare upgrade when boarding the SkyRide route, or may pay the full SkyRide fare when boarding the first bus or train.
Passengers who dispute a bus operator or fare inspector’s decision about the value or expiration of the transfer should pay the fare and retain the transfer as evidence. Inquiries should be directed to RTD’s Telephone Information Center at 303.299.6000.