Public Transportation Bus Driving Downtown Denver Colorado

An RTD bus in Denver.

The Denver City Council introduced a bill Monday night on a program to help low-income residents qualify for discounted public-transit services.

The measure would provide $1.8 million over five years to pay for four "human services eligibility technicians" to help determine if residents qualify for a discounted Regional Transportation District pass under the RTD LiVE program.

Funding for the program will come from RTD, not from the city budget.

The program offers a 40% discount off the regular fare if riders can show their household income is at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

So, for example, currently a family of four with a household income of $47,638 or less would qualify.

RTD officials estimate the program could reach up to 79,000 people by 2022.

RTD’s board of directors approved the income-based fare discount program last fall.

The idea for the program came from a 25-member working group that RTD convened in 2017 to evaluate the transit agency’s fare structure and pass programs.

Enrollment for the program begins on July 29. To qualify, applicants must be between 20 to 64 years old and live within the RTD district.

RTD has worked with Denver Human Services, the state Office of Information Technology and Deloitte to launch the program.

“The LiVE Program brings discounted fares to more riders who qualify,” RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova said in a statement.

“Until now, individuals had to work through some government agencies and nonprofit organizations to obtain an income-based discount,” Genova added. “Now, they can apply directly through PEAK, the state’s public benefits application system, and receive a proof of eligibility card within weeks.”

A link to the PEAK portal will be added to the RTD LiVE webpage on July 29, transit officials said.

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect that money for the technicians will come from the RTD budget.

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