Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Ride On

Posted 01/21/2018 by Halle Bristow

Mobile ticketing is now available for the RTD. Simply purchase a local day pass or regional/airport pass before boarding. photo by Will Forrester.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) launched their first mobile ticketing app.

Thousands of Denver Public School students rely on public transportation every day to get to and from school. In DPS, high school students do not have the option of taking traditional school buses. However, they can qualify for free or reduced Regional Transportation District passes instead. Officials for The Regional Transportation District ensure that any student who lives farther than 3.5 miles away from their home school, or who meets low-income requirements are eligible for these reduced fare prices. Here at TJ, free bus passes are given to approximately 150 Spartans each month.

Unfortunately, fare pricing is not the only concern for students who take the bus home. Every rider has to show the bus operator or fare instructor their ticket. Nevertheless, those little paper passes manage to slip out of pockets and leave students with no time or money to buy another, ultimately abandoning them with no option but to endure the long walk home. Freshman Caitlin Beery testified, “There are a few instances where I’ve been late because I missed my train because I was buying tickets.” Whether they are being printed, left at home, or lost along the way, it is easy to be late on account of any paper tickets.

Luckily, with the new addition of the RTD’s mobile ticketing app, students can avoid the hassle of printing a ticket. This new app allows customers to pay for their ticket virtually, offering a wide variety of passes. Customers can buy local or regional day passes for both the train and buses using a debit or credit card attached to the online account. The app displays a digital ticket that users can show the bus operator or fare inspector with ease. The digital tickets will expire at the end of the service day, which is 2:59 a.m., the day after it is purchased. RTD officials offer day passes at the same price as a single ride fare for two, granting the customer multiple uses and trips in a day, thus eliminating the need for any future transfers.

Overall, RTD’s mobile ticketing app is more convenient than using regular printed tickets. The use of the mobile app allows the riders to skip the ticketing machine lines if they are taking the light rail, which is ideal for the days they are running late. It also provides students and other users with multiple methods of payment for public transportation. “I think it’s great! A lot of times, students will come to me and say, ‘Can I get cash off of my card?’ and I can’t do that. So this app takes the guesswork out of it, where all they have to do is just hook it up to their card and they can get on the bus,” added treasurer, Carla Allen.  In this way, it is extremely useful for customers who used pay with cash. That way they do not have to dig in their bag looking for exact change for every fare.

While the app currently allows for no preloaded tickets, RTD says that single-ride tickets and monthly passes are a new feature to keep an eye out for in the future. They are currently working on a component that has the ability to allow riders to buy a pass in advance for future dates. In the meantime, make sure to download the app by searching for “RTD Mobile Tickets,” available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.