DENVER (KDVR) — RTD could lower fares starting next year.

The proposal would not only reduce the price to ride RTD buses and trains but level fares across all destinations but the airport. This would mean big savings for farther-flung transit riders, and it could give more incentive to get suburban drivers out of traffic and onto public transit.

“Public transportation is a means of garnering access and opportunity,” Debra Johnson, RTD’s general manager and CEO, said in a statement. “The operative word in what we do is ‘public,’ and RTD’s goal is to ensure all people within the region have access to transportation.”

RTD crafted the proposal after a public feedback process. The agency said it heard from thousands of people “during the most comprehensive and wide-ranging fare study and equity analysis the agency has ever undertaken.”

A committee is set to discuss the proposal next week.

How much does it cost for RTD fare?

Right now, RTD divides fares into zones. It costs $3 for a three-hour pass to travel around Denver and to nearby cities, but it costs more to travel to “regional” destinations farther from the metro core.

The proposal would eliminate the zones in favor of one fare schedule, and it would lower the price of rides across the board.

“The agency recognized that customers found its fares to be expensive and difficult to understand,” RTD said in a release. “The study set out to reexamine the RTD fare system with a customer-centered approach focused on equity, affordability and simplicity.”

Under the current proposal, the three-hour pass would be lowered to $2.75 and the day pass to $5.50. The fare to Denver International Airport would reduce to $10. And the monthly pass — now at $114 for local zones and $200 for regional — would drop to $88.

Discount fares would also lower, with a monthly pass dropping from $57 to $27 and expanding access to include trips to the airport. RTD would also expand its discount program LiVE, allowing more people to qualify for the program, including Access-a-Ride customers.

RTD is also considering a yearlong pilot program to give free transit access to people 19 and younger, along with other fare programs for the higher-education community and a grant program for transit assistance.

Timeline: RTD considers lower fares

RTD’s Finance and Planning Committee is set to discuss the proposed fare structure on Tuesday, Feb. 14. A draft proposal is expected by April, with public comment expected in May and a final vote in July.

If approved, the new fare structure would be implemented in the first quarter of 2024.