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A young girl with light skin pulls the stop cable while sitting next to her mother on an RTD bus.

A more equitable fare structure is a primary goal of the Systemwide Fare Study and Equity Analysis. For the purposes of the fare study, RTD has defined equity as supporting transit-reliant and financially burdened customers while providing fair access to fares, products and discounts regardless of race, color, national origin, income or other marginalized status.

To ensure equity, RTD assesses any changes to the fare system for potential impacts on minority and low-income populations. The intent of this assessment is to ensure the impacts of the fare changes are fairly distributed among all customers. To do this, RTD conducts an equity analysis to ensure protected populations (minority and low-income) are not unevenly harmed by fare changes (e.g. new fare prices, products or programs or new ways to pay for fares) and unprotected populations (non-minority and/or non-low-income customers) do not unevenly benefit.



To create a more equitable fare structure, the study has prioritized intentional and inclusive customer and community engagement as well as evaluations of the impacts of potential fare changes on protected populations. Throughout the study, RTD has:

  • Actively engaged historically underrepresented populations through partnerships with community-based organizations, including focus groups conducted by RTD’s community partners and surveys of organizations that serve underrepresented community members (community partners with which RTD worked on this study include Athletics and Beyond, CREA Results, Cultivando, Denver Streets Partnership, Focus ReEntry and Una Mano Una Esperanza)

  • Promoted language access by conducting customer and community meetings in Spanish and ensuring the availability of language assistance, including through translation of the study website and surveys

  • Held Equity Feedback Panels where diverse community members representing many unique identities used customer and community input to inform how RTD’s fare structure can meet the study’s equity goals

  • Conducted fare equity analyses of potential changes based on RTD’s Title VI Policies and in accordance with Federal Transit Administration guidance

Learn more about Title VI and its impact on the equity analysis below.


RTD performed a fare equity analysis on the recommended fare structure. The analysis found that the recommendation would have neither a Disparate Impact on minority customers nor a Disproportionate Burden on low-income customers. Moreover, though not all of the additional fare policies and programs that RTD is recommending could be included in the fare equity analysis, these policies and programs further enhance equity outcomes for the recommended fare structure.


View the full fare equity analysis findings here.

A mother and son with medium skin peek their heads out to check for the approaching RTD light-rail train.


Community feedback has been integral to the development of the recommended fare structure, policies and programs. To learn more about the fare study process to date and how customer and community feedback has shaped the direction, visit the fare study engagement process overview page.


RTD will take steps to ensure that communication with members of the public with disabilities is effective throughout the study. Persons who require materials in alternative formats, need sign language interpretation, or require other communication consideration for participation, please contact RTD’s ADA Manager at Please provide three business days notice for services to be arranged.

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