Not only is driving a large impact on climate change it also can be costly with gas and parking, especially if you are traveling to the downtown Denver area. In Denver, we are fortunate there are alternative transportation options available. Options include the light rail, bus, bike and airport shuttles. In addition to these mass transit options there are public charging stations for the growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles in the area as well as car sharing programs.
The light rail system in Denver goes from the suburbs into downtown with 36 stops along the way. Most of the track follows the I-25 and is a great way to beat the traffic into work or to the big game. Many of the stops have free parking and fares are less than the cost of parking downtown. The bus system also connects at many of the light rail stops. Visit RTD Denver’s website for schedules.
The bus lines in Denver are extensive. In addition to the metropolitan service in the city of Denver the Regional Transportation District expands service into suburbs. Business travelers who need to fly to Denver International Airport can take one of the many commuter shuttles directly to the airport.
Denver has hundreds of miles of dedicated bike trails available for riders. These trails improve safety by providing a lane for bikes to travel that is away from traffic. Denver also has a pilot program for sharing bikes. The B-Cycle program provides over 500 bikes at 40 different sharing stations. This unique option allows anyone with a credit card to borrow a bike from one station and return it to any station they choose. No round trip is required.
For those who don’t want to pedal themselves around there are Pedi-Cabs available in the downtown area. Pedi-Cabs are a combination of a bicycle and cart which allows passengers to sit back while someone else does the work. These human powered vehicles are widely used in downtown Denver as a great option to get around the downtown area.
The 16th street shuttle is actually an alternative fuel vehicle that runs up and down the 16 block core of downtown. Called Mallride this vehicle is a hybrid that will quickly transport you to the hotel, shop or restaurant of your choice.
eGo CarShare is a local based car sharing program that provides access to a network of energy-efficient vehicles throughout downtown Denver (and Boulder) area. It is a pay as you drive system that allows members to pay per trip without the commitment of owning a car. Vehicles are conveniently stationed, often near transit and bicycle facilities and are accessible to members with valid reservations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alternative transportation doesn’t have to mean mass transit. A growing number of consumers are purchasing hybrid and all electric vehicles. Denver is also growing their infrastructure with public plug in locations. Luckily there is an app, Car Stations, available that gives the location of plug in stations in the Denver area.