RTD launches new systemwide fare study and equity analysis

Today, RTD announced the public launch of the systemwide fare study and equity analysis and initiated customer and community engagement. Leading with equity, RTD will be examining its fares and exploring changes to its fare structure and pass programs to make using bus and rail service more equitable, simple and affordable for the over 3 million people in RTD’s service area.

“We aspire to be the trusted leader in mobility, delivering excellence and value to our customers and community, and in order to achieve this vision, we recognize that there are tangible improvements we can make to enhance the customer experience,” said General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson. “By examining our fares through a lens of equity and accessibility, this undertaking will make using RTD services simpler.”

This systemwide fare study and equity analysis is being conducted in response to feedback from the public, as well as recommendations made by the RTD Accountability Committee, and will address concerns about the complexities of the current fare system. This process will forge a path toward rebuilding ridership in a post-pandemic era. The last RTD fare study examined pass programs and led to notable changes in 2019, such as the introduction of the LiVE program that provides a 40% discount to customers who are income eligible, as well as an increase from 50% to 70% in the discount offered to youth.

As part of the customer-centric approach to the study, RTD is calling on the community to help shape the study’s direction and outcome. For this first engagement, RTD is looking for feedback from current, previous and future customers to understand what they like about RTD’s fares, what the biggest fare-related challenges are and what opportunities RTD should consider to improve its fares. RTD will also be exploring with customers and the community how to best meet the three goals that have been identified for the study: equity, affordability and simplicity.

Two virtual customer and community meetings to gather feedback on the current fare structure and pass program will occur this month, the first at 6 p.m. April 21 in English, the second at 6 p.m. April 28 in Spanish. Community members are required to pre-register for the meetings and can do so by clicking on the Zoom links above.

More information about the current fare study can be found at rtd-denver.com/farestudy. RTD is also surveying current, previous and future customers to better understand what customers think about RTD’s fares. The survey, which is available in multiple languages, is open until May 1 and can be found at rtd-denver.com/farestudy. As part of its commitment to equity, RTD is actively engaging with underrepresented populations through partnerships with community-based organizations.