The Regional Transportation District makes lives better through connections, whether that is connecting a customer with their final destination or the connections that happen with others on the system. To support all types of connections, RTD asks its customers to follow a set of behavioral guidelines called Respect the Ride.

Respect the Ride focuses on providing a safe, convenient, and enjoyable experience for all customers, while also discouraging disruptive or antisocial behaviors.

Respect the Ride supports RTD’s mission to make lives better through connections. In short, all that RTD asks is that customers respect others and be considerate of its employees.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Respect the Ride survey. We are currently analyzing public feedback. Please stay tuned for more information.

Overview of Standards

  1. Basic civility and respect are expected. Spitting, littering, indecent exposure, stealing, damaging RTD property, and other disorderly conduct are not allowed.
  2. Individuals are prohibited from impeding the safe boarding or exiting of other customers.
  3. It is illegal to avoid paying a fare, whether by skipping payment portals or using counterfeit fare.
  4. The use of illegal drugs and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Smoking tobacco, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is not allowed on buses and trains or in RTD facilities.
  5. Selling goods or services is not allowed. This includes distributing handbills and flyers to customers.
  6. Other than service animals, animals and pets are prohibited on vehicles or in facilities. However, small pets in carriers are permitted.
  7. It is illegal to bring explosives, firearms, or other potentially dangerous objects on RTD’s vehicles or in facilities unless you have proper documentation.
  8. Playing music is permitted only if you use earbuds or headphones that prevent your music from bothering other customers.
  9. Food and drinks need to be stored in resealable containers.
  10. You must exit buses or trains once they have completed their routes.

Being respectful of other customers and considerate to RTD’s employees does not take more than common courtesy.

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Proposed Amendments

In 2016, RTD’s Board of Directors approved the agency’s first-ever comprehensive list of rules and prohibited conduct on the transit system. In 2020, amendments to the Code of Conduct were drafted and approved for implementation.

Following an internal staff review that began in 2022, additional changes to the existing Customer Code of Conduct were identified and are now being proposed to the community for consideration. The latest round of revisions simplifies the existing guidelines and emphasizes respect for other customers, RTD’s vehicles, its facilities, and its employees. Read More.  

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ADA and Reasonable Accommodations 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), transportation entities, including RTD, are required to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination and to ensure that all programs are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Read More.


A Welcoming Transit Environment

Respect the Ride

Respect the Ride is a tool and strategy to support RTD’s efforts to maintain a safe, convenient, and enjoyable experience for all customers. The overarching goal is to discourage disruptive or antisocial behaviors.  

Education is the First Step 

Prior to enforcing prohibited behaviors outlined in Respect the Ride, RTD will make every attempt to first educate and inform the individual about rules and the expectation of common courtesy. Oftentimes, individuals may be unaware of RTD’s guidelines or need a gentle reminder. Educating the individual about Respect the Ride will always be the first step taken when interacting with a customer or other individual. 

Connecting Individuals to Resources 

RTD deploys a team of mental health clinicians and a full-time outreach coordinator for the unhoused to support individuals who may need assistance or information about available resources. In the spirit of compassion, RTD connects individuals to community services, resources, information, and other support not offered by a public transit system. Providing access to much-needed resources and deploying problem-solving strategies better assist members of the community who are unhoused, experiencing mental health issues, or dealing with substance abuse challenges. Additionally, RTD is increasing the number of qualified personnel who are able to connect members of the community with support resources. This effort is only possible through continued partnerships with dozens of state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.

Enforcement and Suspensions

If a situation warrants a response beyond education or community resources, enforcement steps may be necessary. Any individual who continues to engage in prohibited behavior or activities may be subject to enforcement ranging from a verbal or written warning, immediate suspension from a vehicle or facility, or a criminal citation.

Enforcement of Respect the Ride will always be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Read More.

Appeal of Suspensions

Every person issued a written Notice of Suspension shall be entitled to a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is (a) to review and determine whether the evidentiary basis for issuance of the suspension is sufficient pursuant to violation of Respect the Ride; (b) to determine whether the length and scope of the suspension is commensurate with the nature of the violation; (c) to render a finding on whether it is more probable than not that the individual engaged in conduct justifying the suspension; (d) consider any mitigating and aggravating factors relevant to the scope and length of the suspension; (e) and issue a final suspension order to sustain, modify, or set aside the customer suspension.

All persons receiving a notice of suspension will receive notice of a hearing. RTD will consider any evidence that supports or negates a finding that the individual engaged in conduct justifying the suspension. Evidence that a corresponding criminal case was dismissed may be considered but is not dispositive of whether the individual engaged in conduct justifying the suspension.

Any person issued a Notice of Suspension may appeal their suspension to RTD within ten (10) business days of issuance. A request for appeal must include an appeals form, copy of the Notice of Suspension, grounds for appeal, the date of request, and contact information. For more information about the appeal process, email [email protected] or contact the Deputy Chief of RTD-PD by calling (303) 299-6000. 

Community Outreach and Events

Respect the Ride Event

RTD has scheduled a number of outreach events and activities to engage with the community and solicit input about agency initiatives, including the proposed changes to Respect the Ride. A calendar of all RTD upcoming outreach events is available online. At upcoming events, RTD staff are available to answer questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The proposed amendments to RTD’s existing Code of Conduct support the safety, convenience, and comfort of all customers. The recommended changes also condense the current full list of prohibited behaviors to communicate expectations more effectively. Additionally, RTD is refocusing efforts to emphasize a need for respecting other customers, RTD’s employees, and its vehicles and facilities. 

There is no responsibility for customers to report unwelcome behavior or prohibited conduct that they observe on RTD vehicles or in the agency’s facilities. However, RTD relies on reports received from customers through the Transit Watch App when a transit police officer or transit security officer are not present. With RTD’s Transit Watch app, a customer is able tocan communicate with Transit Police quickly, easily, and anonymously about safety and security concerns. Transit Watch App users have the option to directly call Transit Police or send a message. In an emergency situationan emergency, always call 911. 

The RTD Act, Article 9 of Title 32, Colorado Revised Statutes, authorizes the district to develop, maintain, and operate a mass transportation system for the benefit of the inhabitants of the district. In order toTo provide for the safety, convenience, and comfort of all customers, the agency has established a Code of Conduct (Code), proposed to be called Respect the Ride, that sets forth rules prohibiting certain conduct that may adversely affect the use, operation, or occupancy of RTD vehicles, facilities, or property.

In addition, using an RTD vehicle without evidence that the proper fare has been paid may be treated in accordance with Colorado Traffic Code, C.R.S. § 42-4- 1416. Additionally, illegal activity may result in a citation under any applicable federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance, including C.R.S. § 18-9-114 - Hindering Transportation (Class 2 Misdemeanor), and C.R.S. § 18-9-115 - Endangering Public Transportation and Utility Transmission (Class 3 Felony). 

The RTD Police Department (RTD-PD) is responsible for monitoring and responding to public safety concerns on the transit system and enforcing Respect the Ride. RTD-PD implements a number of community policing and engagement strategies to address potential concerns and to support the overall safety and convenience of all customers. RTD-PD will continue its established commitment of connecting at-risk individuals to community services, resources, information, and other support not offered by a public transit system. Additionally, RTD-PD is transitioning its workforce to a majority of sworn officer to better nurture community relationships and address public safety concerns. This expansion in capacity will also better support individuals with mental health, addiction, and housing struggles, without over-criminalizing non-chronic, at-risk offenders. Respect the Ride will be enforced. 

Enforcement of Respect the Ride will always be conducted and applied in a fair and reasonable manner. Prior to enforcing prohibited behaviors outlined in Respect the Ride, RTD will make every attempt to first educate and inform the individual about rules and the expectation of common courtesy. Individuals who have concerns about the enforcement of Respect the Ride are encouraged to share feedback directly with RTD.  

See the “Appeal of Suspensions” section of the website.

RTD’s Board of Directors will receive a full report of all outreach and engagement activities related to proposed amendments to the Code of Conduct. All feedback collected and input received will be compiled and shared with the Board of Directors prior to their June meeting cycle. Additionally, as necessary, feedback will be incorporated into a recommended action for the Board’s consideration.