An RTD bus driver stands outside his bus at the Central Park Station in Denver on April 17, 2020. 

Beginning July 1, riding bus and light rail on the Regional Transportation District will bear some semblance of normalcy, as the agency resumes front-door boarding and fare collection.

“We’re all trying to take steps to return to a different normal, whatever that may be,” said RTD’s interim general manager Paul Ballard. “Collecting fares again is important for our agency’s financial health and helps RTD get back on track.”

In the beginning of April, RTD made the first of many pandemic-related changes to operations by requiring passengers to board through the rear doors of buses unless they needed to use the lift feature. The move was intended to protect operators from COVID-19 infection by preventing passengers from walking by the compartment. To facilitate this practice, there could be no collection of fares.

In July, passengers will resume purchases of tickets, passes or cash fare. The mobile ticketing app will also be available for orders, and is a contactless option that avoids the need to use bus fare boxes.

RTD is still operating on a pandemic schedule, meaning weekend frequencies for bus and light rail routes. Ridership continues at lowered levels, with RTD seeing 120,000 trips each weekday compared to 350,000 at the end of 2019.

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