RTD launches study aimed at simplifying its fare structure
DENVER — The Regional Transportation District has launched a study that will gather information about what people think about the transit agency’s fare structure.
RTD begins a series of public meetings Wednesday night to get input about the fare structure.
The whole idea is to eventually simplify the fare structure, whether you ride the bus or light rail now, or plan to ride commuter trains to the airport when the East Rail Line opens in 2016.
“We went on line and thought it was $7 a ticket and then wound up paying $11.50!” says RTD rider Renee Smith.
RTD currently has 17 categories of just cash fares. That’s before you throw in the different fare zones that cover the existing light rail lines.
“Ride a zone … then ride another zone … then on the third zone you gotta’ pay. Where does the third zone begin!?” RTD user Janay Eschback asks.
“The guy asked for my ticket and I gave it to him and he asked to see my student ID and I gave him my metro ID and he said that didn’t work,” Alina Martinez says.
RTD’s own research found its fare structure was by far the most complicated when compared to 15 same-sized transit agencies.
“Problems that people might have with it because of its complexity is really important for us to know from a user standpoint,” says RTD Assistant General Manager Scott Reed.
So they’re asking their riders how they’d like to see RTD work better. Participate in the RTD fare study here.
“What I’d like to see is more public support through tax dollars on public transportation, so that we can get people to their job at a reasonable cost,” says Todd Soderberg.
Spreading the cost across the system is an ultimate goal.
“Ultimately we will be able to look at what our fare rates are based on what should be a streamlined fare structure,” Reed says.
But with four new projects including the East Rail Line to Denver Airport opening in 2016, RTD is on a fast track to do that streamlining before things get even more complicated.
“If they want to streamline it to make it easier for people to understand then sure, that’s a good idea,” says RTD rider Chrissie Sohnholz.