DENVER (KDVR) – Riders will no longer be able to take the Regional Transportation District’s trains and buses for free as the “Zero Fare for Better Air” initiative comes to an end.

Throughout the entire month of August, RTD encouraged the use of public transportation through free rides. The goal was to reduce pollution across Colorado.

This program was managed by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) who used funding from SB22-180.

The data is still being collected for large counties like Denver, but the results are in for smaller areas: the program saw an increase in ridership.

Quantifying the increase in RTD ridership during August 2022

  • Archuleta County:
    • 56% increase compared to August 2021
  • Bent County:
    • 10% increase compared to August 2021
  • Bent County GATS:
    • 28% increase compared to August 2021
  • City of Fountain:
    • 39% increase compared to August 2021
  • Durango Transit:
    • 36% increase compared to August 2021
  • Greeley (GET):
    • 38% increase compared to August 2021
  • La Junta Transit:
    • 9% increase compared to August 2021; Ridership included many first-time riders
  • Mountain Metro:
    • 48% increase compared to August 2021
  • Northeastern Colorado Association of Local Governments:
    • 17% increase compared to August 2021
  • Pueblo:
    • 59% increase compared to August 2021
  • Prowers Area Transit:
    • 23% increase compared to August 2021
  • San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation:
    • 2.8% increase compared to August 2021
  • South Central Council of Governments:
    • 2% increase compared to August 2021
  • Southern Colorado Community Action Agency/RoadRunner Transit:
    • 40% increase compared to August 2021

Officials with RTD said this means the initiative was a success.

The numbers for Denver and other large areas will be revealed in November.