Commuters returning to their workplaces as the pandemic eases are clogging Denver-area highways, but they aren’t yet boarding buses and trains in droves.
That emerging dynamic has prompted an outside review panel to call for the Regional Transportation District to act boldly: Use some of its federal relief money to slash regular fares temporarily and streamline its monthly passes to make them easier to get.
The plea underscores that RTD is in a fight to lure riders back against changing work patterns, its own budget constraints and, most of all, time. While RTD leaders point to gradual ridership growth this year as an encouraging sign, the most recent monthly ridership report from May shows 58% fewer riders boarded its buses, trains and other services during that month than in May 2019.
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