RTD Bus & Light Rail
|RTD Bus Service|
|Owner||Regional Transportation District|
|Locale||Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area|
|Number of lines||127|
|Daily ridership||210,400 |
|Number of vehicles||969|
|RTD Light Rail|
|Owner||Regional Transportation District|
|Locale||Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area|
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||6|
|Number of stations||46|
|Daily ridership||69,300 |
|Began operation||October 7, 1994 |
|Number of vehicles||172|
|System length||35 mi (56 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
RTD Bus & Light Rail is a transit system in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. It is operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD). It currently operates 79 local, 16 express, 16 regional, 11 limited, and 5 skyRide bus routes plus some special services. It also includes 5 light rail lines with 36 stations and 35 miles (56 km) of track.
Bus service in Denver dates back to 1924, when Denver Tramway began the first bus between Englewood and Fort Logan. Buses had completely replaced the previously expansive streetcar system in metro Denver by 1950. However cars were becoming a larger part of life and ridership was declining. From 1969 to 1971, Denver Tramway required the sponsorship of the City and County of Denver to continue service. In 1971 with aging equipment, low revenues, and lackluster ridership the Denver Tramway Company transferred all of its assets to city-owned Denver Metro Transit.
In 1969 the Regional Transportation District (RTD) was created in the 47th session of the Colorado General Assembly to provide public transportation to five additional counties in the metropolitan area. It acquired privately owned companies, improved service frequency, and expanded to routes that commercial carriers previously operated such as airport buses.
In July 1974, Denver Metro Transit became part of RTD and under the new banner ridership began to increase.
Light rail 
RTD's first light rail line, a 5.3-mile (8.5 km) section of what is now the D Line, opened on Friday, October 7, 1994. It operated with free service for that half day and the first weekend, with revenue service starting on October 10. It was estimated that more than 200,000 passengers rode the new system during its two-and-a-half day opening weekend, when the fleet comprised only 11 Siemens SD-100 rail cars.
Since that time, several additional light rail lines have been opened. An 8.7-mile (14.0 km) southwest extension to Mineral Avenue in Littleton opened in July 2000, and the 1.8-mile Platte Valley extension to Denver Union Station opened in April 2002. An additional 19-mile (31 km) Southeast Corridor extension along I-25 to Lone Tree and a branch along I-225 to Parker Road were completed in November 2006 as part of Denver's T-REX project.
As of April 2013, the system had 170 light rail vehicles, serving 47 miles (76 km) of track.
Current services 
Primary services 
The primary RTD services are scheduled bus and light rail routes. Most bus routes are divided into Local, Express, and Regional service levels. Light rail is divided in four zones: A, B, C, & D. Local service is service within two zones, express service is within three zones, and regional service is within four zones.
The current light rail lines are:
- C Line: Littleton/Mineral to Union Station
- D Line: Littleton/Mineral to 30th/Downing
- E Line: Lincoln to Union Station
- F Line: Lincoln to 18th/California & 18th/Stout
- H Line: Nine Mile to 18th/California & 18th/Stout
- W Line: Denver Union Station to Jeffco Government Center
With the opening of the Southeast Corridor, many regional bus routes that provided service from the North Metro to Denver Tech Center were replaced by service to Union Station and light rail from Union Station to the Belleview light rail station. Several regional bus routes to and from the South Metro were also eliminated by the openings of the Southeast & Southwest Corridors, replaced by feeder routes to light rail.
Former services 
- G Line: Running from Nine Mile station to Lincoln station, this line was suspended May 3, 2009. With the completion of FasTracks I-225 corridor expansion planned for 2016, the line will resume service.
Special services 
Special bus services are offered for various purposes. Some of the more popular special services are:
- "call-n-Ride", which provides curb-to-curb service in specific areas. This is similar to taxis.
- "access-a-Ride", which provides transportation for disabled people.
- "FREE MallRide", the 16th Street Mall shuttle; as its name implies, rides on this service are free. The shuttles use compressed natural gas (CNG)/electric hybrid engines.
- "skyRide", which provides direct service to Denver International Airport from various locations around the metro area.
- Sporting events service:
|Local / Limited||Express||Regional|
|Ticketbook (10 rides)||$20.00||$36.00||$45.00|
These fares apply only to the primary services. Special services typically cost more, up to $13 each way for some skyRide routes. Free transfers are available between services going in the same direction, of the same type or cheaper. Passengers may pay for an upgrade to transfer from a lower fare service to a higher fare service, regardless of whether one is special service and the other is not. Discount fares are available to seniors over 65, students ages 6 to 19, people with disabilities and people who receive Medicare.
Bus stations typically provide a starting or end-point for limited, express, and regional routes with many local and limited routes stopping near these stations, making transfers between routes relatively easy. Light-rail stations serve the light-rail system and many of these stations have gates for bus service and function as Park-n-Rides. Civic Center and Market Street stations are connected to Union Station via the "FREE MallRide" shuttle service.
Bus stations 
|Station Name||Address||Phone Number|
|Civic Center Station||1550 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202||Lost & Found 303-299-2288|
|Market Street Station||16th Street Mall and Market Street, Denver, CO 80202||None|
|Union Station (rail and bus)||1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202||None|
|Boulder Transit Center||1400 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80302||Lost & Found 303-442-7332|
Light-rail stations 
As of 2013, there are 46 stations on the six lines in the RTD Light Rail system. RTD has adopted specific design standards that are incorporated into its station design, with a specific emphasis on the platform, its transition plaza and the multi-modal access provided for at the facility. Platforms are designed to accommodate four-car trains and may be in either a side, island or side center style. The transition plaza is the area where tickets are purchased and passenger services can be found. Additionally, all stations include works of public art as part of RTD's art-n-Transit program. These works include independent works or as pieces incorporated into the canopies, columns, pavers, windscreens, fencing and landscaping present at all stations.
Future services 
RTD is currently working to build four commuter rail lines, including the East Corridor light rail line to Denver International Airport, and extensions to the Southwest, Southeast and Central corridor lines, via the FasTracks project.
Art on the Light Rail system 
About $1 million from the T-REX contingency budget was dedicated to art projects at each of the 13 new southeast corridor light-rail stations.
- Ira Sherman, "Stange Machine," Louisiana/ Pearl.
- Ries Niemi, "Big Boots," Colorado.
- John Goe, "Reflective Discourse," University.
- Gregory Gove, "People," Yale.
- Chris Janney, "Denver Lights," Southmoor.
- Richard Elliott, "Thunder Over the Rockies," Belleview.
- Christopher Weed, "Windswept," Dayton.
- Dwight Atkinson, "Troll Trouncer," Nine Mile.
- Wopo Holup, "Orchard Road Orchard," Orchard.
- Michael Clapper, "Nucleus," Arapahoe at Village Center.
- John McEnroe, "Fools Gold," Dry Creek.
- Emmett Culligan, "Plow," County Line.
- Ray King, "Sun Stream" Lincoln.
Design team artists who worked on windscreen benches, railings, bike racks and canopy columns at all stations were Susan Cooper and Rafe Ropek.
- "APTA Transit Ridership Report". APTA. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Pacific RailNews, January 1995, p. 68. Pentrex. ISSN 8750-8486.
- "RTD - Facts and Figures". RTD. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- Gutfreund, Owen (2004). Twentieth century sprawl : highways and the reshaping of the American Landscape. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195141412.
- Special Rides
- FREE MallRide
- Route MALL
- "RTD — Fares". Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "Station design criteria". RTD Design Guidelines & Criteria, Light Rail Design Criteria. Regional Transportation District. November 2005. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- "art-n-Transit: A rider's guide to public art on RTD's transit system". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved September 26, 2010.