Bill could allow for free RTD rides
Existing users of public transit and those from the 80108 ZIP code who are considering trying it could have the chance to do so for free this summer.
A bill currently moving through the legislature could use mostly grant money to allow public transit agencies, namely the Regional Transportation District (RTD), to take riders on free light rail and bus trips in August 2022 and August 2023. Colorado Senate Bill 180 passed the House on third reading May 11 and is expected to gain approval before the 2022 session is over.
SB 180 would designate $11 million each year to enable transit agencies to waive fares for at least 30 days during ozone season. Sponsors hope it will spur interest in regular ridership.
The bill requires the transit and rail division of the Colorado Department of Transportation to create a three-year pilot project to extend state-run transit services throughout the state with the goal of reducing ground-level ozone, increasing ridership, and reducing vehicle miles traveled in the state.
RTD light rail has stations near I-25 and Ridgegate Parkway and I-25 and Lincoln Avenue, and although RTD buses serve only a sliver of northern Douglas County, there are users from Parker, Lone Tree, Castle Rock and Castle Pines.
The bill, which allocates $30 million total to reduce ground level ozone produced by traditional vehicle trips, would also benefit Roaring Fork Transportation Authority which serves mountain towns like Aspen and Glenwood Springs.
Article and photo by Chris Michlewicz