RTD places cap on tickets for nonprofits, sparking concern among low-income riders

DENVER – A change in one of the Regional Transportation District’s low-income fare programs is causing concern for people who rely on public transportation to get around.

Malik Whittington is one rider who uses the program through the non-profit Denver Works. 

"I don't have a job and I just moved here from Alabama," Whittington said. 

He said he rides the bus four times a week to get job training at Denver Works. The bus tickets are given to him through the non-profit but that may change.

RTD recently put a cap on the number of tickets that nonprofits and service agencies can buy through the agency’s nonprofit program. Those tickets are half off the regular price and last year, the program surpassed its budget of $6.8 million dollars for the year. The agency is on track to once again surpass its budget in 2017.

Because of that, organizations are now restricted to buying no more than the number of tickets they bought in 2016. Some organizations are even on a waiting list to buy tickets.

“We want as many agencies and as many individuals as possible participating in [the program] because we’ve seen some of the larger agencies eat up the capacity because they are ordering more and more and more [tickets],” said Scott Reed with RTD.

Reed said RTD plans to weigh several different options for handling the issue. One possibility would be increasing funding for the nonprofit program. RTD officials will select the best option and present it to the agency’s board of directors.


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