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How to Ride RTD

Planning Your Trip

There are many ways to plan a journey using RTD’s buses and trains.

Greater Denver Transit recommends using the Transit app to help navigate and pay for your trip. Upon launching the app, riders see nearby options and departure times in big text and bright colors. Users can easily navigate the region, aided by accurate real-time bus ETAs, trip planning, step-by-step navigation, and crowdsourced real-time information with Transit’s GO feature.

Trip planners such as the RTD NextRide, Transit and Google Maps apps all contain easy to use transit trip planners that allow you to enter your origin, destination and preferred day / time to get information on the fastest way to get there on transit.

Maps and schedules display all the transit options available in an area. They are well suited to riders who already know a bit about the service in a particular area.

Easy to read maps of the
entire RTD System.

A guide to RTD schedules
& how get to places.

Buses and trains may be tracked in real time, the RTD NextRide, Transit and Google Maps apps.

Purchasing Tickets

RTD tickets may be purchased in 3 ways:

  • Using MyRide ‘Tap & Ride’ stored value.
  • Mobile tickets.
  • Paper tickets.
  • Cash (accepted on local buses only).

Because it includes fare capping, Greater Denver Transit recommends you use MyRide ‘Tap & Ride’ stored value to ensure you always pay the best rate for your RTD trips.

Using any other ticket purchase method means you could pay more!

MyRide ‘Tap & Ride’ is a stored value payment system where the appropriate cost of the ticket is deducted from your account every time you tap to ride a bus or train. This method also uses fare capping, which automatically ensures you pay the best rate your RTD trips over both a daily and monthly period. Click here for more about fare capping.

MyRide ‘Tap & Ride’ balance can be topped up with a credit / debit card by using the MyRide Website or the RTD MyRide app. To ride, a ‘token’ must be set up in the account. This can either be an app-based MyRide barcode or a physical MyRide card ordered for free from RTD.

MyRide ‘Tap & Ride’ users travelling on trains will need to validate their app-based MyRide barcode or physical MyRide card using a ‘Smart’ validator, located at all stations. Press the Select Fare button once for a regional fare or twice for an airport fare as necessary. This deducts the correct value from the MyRide balance.

Provided the ticket doesn’t change (e.g. local to regional), any further taps within a 3 hour period will not result in any further funds being deducted from the MyRide balance.

Mobile tickets can purchased with a credit / debit card by using the MyRide Website or the RTD MyRide, Transit, Uber and Lyft apps. They need to be activated in the app before travel. Click here for a guide to RTD’s fares.

Paper tickets may be purchased at ticket vending machines, located at all stations. Simply select the ticket type and ticket to purchase with a credit / debit card or cash. Click here for a guide to RTD’s fares.

If the paper ticket does not has a clear expiry date and time printed on it, it will need to be validated before travel on a train. Simply insert it into one of the paper ticket validators located at the station. 3 hour passes will expire 3 hours after the date / time stamped on them, day passes will expire at 2:59am the following day.

Boarding Your Bus or Train