With gas prices already on the rise, and with the likely chance they’ll only continue to climb over the summer, it might be time to consider alternate transportation methods in the Denver Metro area. Whether you’re trying to get to work, the airport, or to a Rockies game, there is an option for you. Denver has one of the best public transportations systems in the nation, it’s time we utilize it!
According to the RTD website, there are 140 Local, Express, and Regional bus routes serving 10,000 bus stops, five light rail lines providing 35 miles of light rail service and over 70 Park-n-Rides. This means there are very few areas that don’t have access to some form of public transportation!
If you work in the downtown area, you know how expensive it can be to park day after day. Add that to the gas you’re using to get to and from, and the wear and tear done to your car, and you’ll find the bill racking up quite a bit. Why not try a bus? You can pick one up at any transfer center, Park-n-Ride, or bus stop, and parking is almost always free. There are numerous stops throughout Denver, and the Market Street Station is central for many businesses. They make trip planning easy with their handy Trip Planner that you can find on their website. It allows you to enter your starting destination and ending destination, and informs you which route is the best to take.
Worried about the cost? You can buy a monthly or yearly pass that will be the most cost effective, or you can pay per ride. The most expensive would be for a regional ticket at $5.00 for a one-way ticket. It goes down from there with $4.00 for an express trip, and $2.50 for a local ride. RTD also offers discounts to seniors and veterans. Whichever route you happen to be on, it will most likely be less expensive than driving your own vehicle.
If you’re headed to the airport, consider hopping on an RTD SkyRide bus. These buses operate 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They can be picked up at select Park-n-Rides, and run at least once an hour. Some even run every 15 minutes depending on the location and the time of day. The bus driver will help you with your luggage, and will drop you off right outside the ticket counters at the airport. These rides tend to be more expensive ranging from $9.00 to $13.00, and you might have to pay for parking depending on the transfer center. However, it will still save you gas money and parking fees at the airport.
How about a day of fun enjoying an all-American game of baseball? If you’re heading to a Rockies game and prefer to avoid the hassle of stop-and-go traffic along with the sky high parking prices, you might want to try RockiesRide! This direct bus service can be found on the weekends at many Park-n-Ride locations. It runs for all of the Rockies weekend home games and fireworks games. They leave up to two hours before the game, and arrive near the stadium within 30 to 60 minutes of the first pitch. These buses are all clearly marked with the route number followed by the letter “R” on the destination sign.
If you prefer to be slightly more modern in your transportation, you might be more interested in taking the light rail into the city. There are five light rail lines and over 35 stops that they cover. However, you might be slightly limited in where you can pick them up as it doesn’t cover as much ground as the bus lines do. If you happen to live within Denver’s city limits, or south of Denver in the Littleton area, you’re in luck. The light rail is fast and easy. It has twice as many pick up times as most bus routes, and is very user friendly. If you’ve never ridden the light rail before, you can find a 7 step tutorial on the RTD website.
If you live west of Denver towards Golden, have no fear, the light rail is moving in that direction. Crews are currently working on the rail system, and are projecting the completion date will be in the spring of 2013. The station will be located at the Jefferson County Government Center and will run all the way to Downtown Denver.