Getting around Denver
Denver has an excellent public transport system run by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) (tel: +1 303 299 6000; www.rtd-denver.com). There are more than 170 bus routes and a light rail network with over 50 stations, plus a number of special services, including the SkyRide airport buses.
The light rail runs every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day. There are nine lines, with four new lines opening in 2016, including a connection between Downtown with Denver International Airport.
The local bus service is comprehensive, covering all areas of Metro and Greater Denver. The free MallRide shuttle runs the length of Downtown’s 16th Street Mall, which extends from Union Station to the Civic Center Station on Broadway.
You can buy one-day and five-day passes or 10-journey ticket books at any RTD sales outlets, which include light rail stations, Denver International Airport’s west terminal, and selected King Soopers and Safeway stores.
You can hail taxis in Denver on the street, but they don’t consistently stop. Visitors can commonly find them at taxi ranks outside major hotels, as well as bus and railway stations. The best option is often to telephone for one in advance. Denver Yellow Cab (tel: +1 303 777 7777) and Metro Taxi (tel: +1 303 333 3333) are easily Denver’s most popular taxi companies, likely because their phone numbers couldn’t be easier to memorise. Tipping is customary, usually 15 to 20% of the fare.
A car is not necessary if your visit is limited to downtown Denver, as everything is within walking distance or accessible by public transport. If you choose to get around by car, it’s easy outside of the peak rush-hour periods, which always mean congestion on major roads such as the I-25, I-70 and US36 to Boulder. Parking is expensive downtown, and while most major hotels have guest parking facilities, these usually come with a fee. Most blocks downtown either have parking garages or on-street, metered parking.
All major car hire companies have offices in Denver, including Avis (tel: +1 800 722 5909; www.avis.com), Budget (tel: +1 303 292 9341; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 303 297 9400; www.hertz.com). The minimum age for hiring a car in Denver is 21 years, although those under age 25 have to pay a higher premium. A national driving licence is required, although your car hire company may request an International Driving Permit if your licence isn't in English. A major credit card is also required to cover the deposit and optional insurance expenses.
Denver B-cycle (tel: +1 303 825 3325; http://denver.bcycle.com) is the city's bikeshare system, with more than 700 bikes and 82 stations across the city. Visitors can buy a 24-hour membership, after which the first 30 minutes of any journey are free. For longer rides, Evo at 860 Broadway (tel: +1 303 831 7228; www.evo.com) hires out bikes for half days or 24-hour periods.