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University of Colorado Denver Student Government Association


Auraria RTD Pass Referendum

Student Government Association


The vote was held on March 31 and April 1.
Voting locations for various schools:
UCD - North Classroom
Metro - South Classroom
CCD - Central Classroom


What does the Auraria Student Bus and Light Rail Pass Program cover?  

The program allows for an Auraria Campus student with a valid ID to ride almost all RTD busses and Light Rail without paying the fare on the bus or train.  By simply showing the driver or conductor your validated student ID, you may go anywhere the system serves.  The pass program does not include specialty services such as Rockies Ride or Access a Ride.  The pass program does allow for a $4 discount off the Skyride price.

Why must there be a new referendum vote?

A previous student referendum, held in 2008, allowed for two, one-year renewals of the RTD Pass Program agreement, providing  that the pass price did not exceed 10% of the past program cost per student, per semester for academic year 2008-2009 and again in 2009-2010.  The proposed 2010-2011 pass price of $61exceeds the 10% increase threshold from the $46 fee for the 2009-2010 academic year.  RTD reports that the large increase in Auraria’s student ridership, is causing the total cost of the agreement to go up approximately 33%.

Why is the contract (and pass) price going up?

The Auraria student pass program agreement is calculated based upon the total number of rides taken by students in the prior year, multiplied by the current cash fare (minus a 45% discount). Auraria students took almost 3.8 million rides last year. This is the same formula that is used to calculate the College Pass for other schools, including CU-Boulder.

How does ridership by students affect the pass price?

The AHEC/RTD agreement is priced based on actual ridership numbers determined by RTD, charged at a discount off of the regular cash fares. The most recent ridership data is used to calculate the 2010-2011 pass agreement. Ridership has changed in the following ways from the 2008-2009 numbers:

  1. Total Ridership is up 35.4%
  2. Bus Ridership is up 26.6%
  3. Light Rail Ridership is up 46.7%

Is this still a good deal for students?

The RTD pass through the Auraria student pass program can still be considered a great value for students at $61 per semester.  A similar pass that provides as much access for the general public would cost $164 per month, or approximately $656 per semester. The lowest monthly pass available (local only) would cost $70 per month, or $280 per semester.

  1. This represents a significant savings to students being that the student RTD passes cost less than 10% of the price to purchase a comparable pass
  2. Historically a hugely successful and highly utilized student service program
  3. For every 100 cars off the road, it is equivalent to planting 30,600 trees

What does the Student RTD Pass Provide?

  • Local/express/regional bus and light rail
  • Boulder local routes
  • Call’n ride
  • 450 Skyride Discount
  • Handivan ride discount
Student Government Association | University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 93
900 Auraria Parkway | Tivoli Student Union 301
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80204
o 303.556.2510 | f 303.556.3518
University of Colorado Denver

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