My old minivan, after years of valiant service, was taken out by a famous (yes, famous) Denver dip. I’ll admit, at first, I was thrown into panic at thought of getting to internship, school, work, and fun outings without old faithful. The flames of this fear were fanned by the fact that I live way West, work way South, and want to be able to stay out late on the weekends.
Over the past 2 months, I have been pleasantly surprised that I can get just about anywhere I need in an hour or less. A few tips and notable noticings
1. As students, we get an RTD pass and therefore can enter ANY bus or light rail without any further out-of-pocket costs. This means no cash, no lost transfers, just a simple card that you tap against a magical reader thing. (FYI, a pass is anywhere from $80-$140 monthly, so take advantage)
2. That being said, I suggest, you keep this little gem somewhere safe as there are officers on almost every light rail that WILL ask you for your card and verify that you tapped it before boarding.
3. Google is your friend. The maps option under directions is fairly accurate. My only edit is to find stations that may take less transfers to get to as I don’t mind walking.
4. Plan ahead. If I’m traveling from Lakewood to Centennial, these are days I need to leave oddly early and plan my route the day before. Some buses only run every hour, so it’s always good to at least check on what your options might be.
5. Light Rail is more reliable than Bus. The Light Rail almost always comes the minute it is scheduled (aside from the occasional game day or extreme weather hiccups). The buses are typically 5-10 minutes late. I learned the hard way not to plan on arriving anywhere just on time by bus.
6. The buddy system is still relevant. When out late, I prefer to have a friend or someone traveling a similar route so that I am never alone walking or waiting at stops during late hours.
In sum: Have no fear, Denver public transit is here!