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The Regional Quality Air Council Celebrates RTD for Zero Fare for Youth pilot program

Published: August 17, 2023

Beginning September 1, 2023, riders age 19 and younger will ride for free and breathe easier.

Regional Transportation District (RTD) fares are currently free for all riders through the end of August 2023 as part of the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative to help reduce ground-level ozone in the Front Range. But when September begins, youth will continue to be able to ride anywhere in the district’s 9-county region at no cost.  

Approved on July 25, 2023, the pilot program Zero Fare for Youth will allow riders ages 19 and under to use RTD’s services for free, from September 1, 2023 through August 31, 2024. All trains, buses, and FlexRide services are included in the program.  

“The idea that a car is the symbol of freedom for teenagers is a farce. Cars often end up being a financial burden just as teens are starting to earn money and plan for life after high school,” said David Sabados, Communications and Programs Director for the RAQC. “Free transit service for Front Range teens means they can spend their money elsewhere, and there’s fewer cars on the road creating pollution. It’s a win-win for everyone and helps create good lifelong habits.” 

Zero Fare for Youth promotes equity by ensuring transportation is not a barrier to accessing education or employment. The program also promotes equity and affordability by reducing costs and increasing cost competitiveness of public transit for families traveling together. Finally, riding transit for free reduces the number of vehicles on the road and resulting air pollution; improving air quality in our communities and increasing health benefits for the people who live in them. 

To participate, riders must present a valid student or government-issued ID. RTD hopes to continue the program after the pilot. For more information, including a full list of acceptable ID options, visit: