RTD poised to raise its fares, asking for public comment

The public will have its first chance to comment on proposed changes to bus and light rail fares in the Denver area on Monday night.

The controversial changes would mean that a local bus and rail fare will rise to $2.60, up 35 cents. And a local monthly bus pass will cost $104, up from $79. Critics worry that increase will hurt the city's poor.

But RTD officials say they want a simpler fare structure, especially before opening five new transit lines next year.

In particular, they expect that many visitors will be trying to understand fares for the first time when the new line to Denver International Airport opens. So it’s proposing a day pass to replace rail zones, transfers and distance-based fares.

Sixteen public hearings on the proposed fares will be held in the next three weeks.