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First of its kind test to offer free rides to and from light rail station

City offers free Lyft rides to light rail station
Posted: 10:03 PM, Aug 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-12 00:03:47-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The city of Centennial will attempt to do something never done before to get more people to ride the light rail.

Starting next Wednesday, the city will offer free Lyft rides to and from the Dry Creek light rail station.

Riders must be within a specific radius from the station -- a two square miles from the stop. 

The initiative began a year ago, when the city earned a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to conduct a study on local transportation.

The study revealed many who weren’t using the light rail system didn’t do so because they didn’t have a way to get to the city’s station.

“Bus service is limited on this side of town,” said Constance Roberts, who takes the light rail to and from work.

She often depends on RTD’s Call-N-Ride shuttle service to take her to her work from the Dry Creek Station, but at times, she’ll wait an hour for the shuttle which has limited space and availability.

She's already called for a Lyft ride, so she’s excited to hear the city could soon be picking up that tab. “I think it’s fantastic,” she said.

Allison Wittern, spokeswoman for the City of Centennial told Denver7 the city will pay $200,000 for the test service.

The Denver South Transportation Management Association will match the cost, for a total of $400,000.

They don’t plan to continue the service after the six month trial, but hope someone else will take on the program and possibly even expand it.

News of the program is especially exciting for Jeremy Bialik, who rides the light rail every day.

Like Roberts, he usually uses the Call-N-Ride shuttle to get to and from the station, but sometimes has to walk.

“It would help me get home from the light rail station,” he said, “I wouldn't have to worry about the weather or calling for rides.

The program officially launches Wednesday afternoon, with a special announcement from the city and their partners which include Lyft, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Denver South Transportation Management Association and Xerox.

The launch will include the announcement of the app that riders will use to request the free Lyft service.  

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