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This website contains updated information only for those corridors actively in construction, the Southeast Rail Extension and North Metro Rail. All other content on this website is meant for historical purposes only and may not be up-to-date. Please visit RTD-Denver.com for the latest information about RTD.

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Free MetroRide

Free MetroRide bus at stop. April 2014. Photo by: Deborah Méndez Wilson
Free MetroRide bus testing the route in April 2014. Photo by: Deborah Méndez Wilson

Free MetroRide service starts

Buses began carrying passengers on May 12, 2014 up and down 18th and 19th streets between Denver Union Station and Civic Center Plaza. The service runs a peak hours Monday through Friday. That's 6 - 9 a.m. and 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

The Free MetroRide is part of FasTracks, RTD's voter-approved comprehensive plan to expand quality transit service in the Denver metro region. The Free MetroRide, formerly known as the Downtown Denver Circulator during the planning stage, will be a convenient alternative to the Free MallRide on 16th Street with fewer stops resulting in faster travel times. The route will take it southeast on 19th St. from Union Station and then turn south on Broadway to 16th Ave. The return trip will take the shuttle north on Lincoln St. and then west on 18th St. back to Union Station.

See the Free MetroRide Fact Sheet

High Frequency Service

The Free MetroRide is a high-frequency bus service that will connect passengers from Denver Union Station to the Civic Center area.

Denver Union Station will serve as the major transportation hub of downtown Denver
with all of the new FasTracks rapid transit lines connecting there. The Free MetroRide will accommodate the increase in downtown transit trips from passengers brought in on the new FasTracks lines.

See What's New on the project

Project History and Funding information

Free Metro Ride Map updated Feb. 8, 2016

Bus Island with Bike LaneExample of Free MetroRide bus bulb

Bus Bulbs

"Bus bulbs" are curb/sidewalk extensions that enable buses to stop without having to weave in and out of traffic. Bus bulbs are proposed for the Free MetroRide on 18th St. They will reduce travel time, add safety, enhance the pedestrians' experience and reduce the number of affected parking spaces.

Construction in 2013

Final design and construction began in 2013. The Free MetroRide opened to the public in May 2014.

Bus bulb and bike lane on Free MetroRide route
Bus bulb and bike lane along the Free Metro Ride route. Photo by: Deborah Méndez Wilson

Free MetroRide Fast Facts

Length: 1.5 miles one way, 3 miles round trip
Vehicle Type: 60-foot articulated, low-floor bus
Stations: Denver Union Station and Civic Center Station plus 14 on-street stops
Peak period operations: 6-9 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Frequency of Service: 5 minutes (peak)

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