Denver RTD Adds New Low-Income Affordable Pass to Fare Structure
Yesterday evening, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors voted 10-5 in favor to create a new discount plan to help low-income riders across the Denver Metro Area. Denver joins leading cities like Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Seattle and London in offering a low-income fare for its riders.
Eligible riders will now be able to qualify for a 40 percent discount if they are at 185 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that's the equivalent of $40,000 a year. RTD also voted to increase the discount offered to riders ages six to 19 years old and offer a new three-hour pass, which will provide an extra hour of ticket validity before needing to purchase another fare.
“The RTD board deserves thanks for taking this step forward and for listening to people from across our community who explained clearly why this is needed,” said Jennie Rodgers, Enterprise Denver Market Leader. “Lowering the cost of transit helps families break the cycle of poverty and increase economic mobility; an affordable fare will reduce one element of the cost of living in a rapidly gentrifying Colorado, and will help to prevent the displacement of communities.”
Since 2016, Enterprise and its main partner, Mile High Connects — a broad partnership of organizations that are committed to increasing access to housing choices, good jobs and essential services via public transit — have worked closely with the RTD Board on a collective education, advocacy, communication and community engagement strategy leading up to the September vote.
The affordable fares effort was a successful result of robust community feedback, collective research on best practices for helping low-income individuals harness economic mobility, which will also help to remove financial barriers to accessing fair housing.
Residents of metropolitan Denver will now have a greater range of options in accessing equitable transit in 2019 and beyond.