RTD Bus Travel

Have you ever noticed the number of buses in downtown Denver?  They are everywhere!  They can be a great way to get around and can be very cost effective as well.  As a city dweller, my wife and I decided to drop down to one car.  Buses provide another great means to get around, and we recently started using this form of transportation ourselves.  We have found buses to be predictable, on schedule, quicker than expected, and much less money than a 2nd car or Uber.

All major bus routes flow through our Central City.  Major connections can be made at Union Station and Civic Center Station, with additional access via 15th Street, 17th Street, and Champa bus routes.  Personally, I find it easier to walk to Civic Center Station to gain access to my bus.  In doing so, I avoid transfers, and time wasted waiting for the next bus.  However, one easy transfer is the 16th Street Mall bus.  That bus still runs frequently traveling west on 15th Street, and east on 17th Street.

We all see those bus lanes that are exclusive to bus travel.  You’d be amazed how quickly those buses travel in those lanes.  Coming home from my Cherry Creek office the bus made a right turn on Lincoln Street from Speer Blvd.  It was rush hour.  Cars were backed up at every light – but the bus lane was empty.  The bus cruised down Lincoln as if it was a Sunday morning with no traffic.  We got to the Civic Center Station in no time flat.  What a time saver during rush hour!

I would admit, getting onto the bus the first time was a bit unnerving.  Cash, tickets, how much?  Though they do accept cash, it really isn’t used today – who has cash these days anyway??  RTD has an App where you can purchase electronic tickets and plan your route.  You just scan the ticket from your phone.  The cost is super low. Especially if you are 65 years old +.  Only $1.50 for most bus trips!  I ask you “What cost $1.50 these days?? Regular customers pay fares of only $3.00.  There are a few other options to purchase passes as well. There are day passes, 10-Ride ticket books, and monthly passes. The App also allows you to plan your route by identifying the bus, departure and arrival times.  I think the App is excellent!

It had been a while since I used a bus. I used the bus back in my college days while living in Connecticut.  With the pandemic effectively over, and my need to go to the office with more regularity, I found the bus a great option to get to my office in Cherry Creek.  It’s a direct shot from Civic Center Station, low cost, and timely.  I have no parking issues once in Cherry Creek, therefore, no fear of parking tickets. Admittedly, buses are less convenient when doing errands, and whenever making multiple stops. But if your travel is a direct shot out of the main station hubs, I have found buses to be a great way to get around. They are also much less costly than using a single occupancy car and they reduce vehicle traffic.  Give it a try, you may be surprised by the experience!

PS Don’t forget to thank the bus driver when departing the bus – it’s the courteous thing to do!

Photo attribution: uncovercolorado.com

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