How to Ride Rail

It's easy to get going with rail

Step 1: Go to your nearest rail station

You can board or exit rail at many stations across the metro area (see map). Parking is available at rail stations that have Park-n-Ride lots. Parking fees apply at select Park-n-Ride locations; visit how to park for more information. In addition, many stations are served by convenient bus routes and FlexRide that circulate throughout nearby neighborhoods.

Step 2: Pay your fare

Purchase tickets

A valid ticket is required before you board the rail. To purchase a ticket, use the ticket vending machines (TVMs) located at each station. Cash (coins and bills) and debit/credit cards are accepted at TVMs. TVMs accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Your ticket will be automatically validated with the date and time when you purchase it from the machine.

Regular one-way tickets are valid for 3 hours from time of purchase. Also available for purchase are round-trip tickets valid for 12 hours and Day Passes.

Learn more about using ticket vending machines

Validate tickets

If you use a ticket from a 10-Ride ticket book or a Free Ride Coupon, validate your ticket at the ticket validator at the rail station. Tickets are valid for 3 hours after the time of validation.


If you have a valid monthly pass or 3-Hour Pass, you do not have to buy a ticket. Your monthly pass is valid only for travel in the fare zones indicated on the pass. To obtain a fare upgrade to a Regional/Airport Day Pass, obtain a fare upgrade from a ticket vending machine.

If you are using a smart card, you must tap on at a smart card reader located along the rail platform prior to boarding the train. Be sure to verify the default service level on the reader and if necessary select your correct service level prior to tapping your card.

Step 3: Locate the correct platform

Overhead signs next to the rail tracks indicate which direction the train is going. Signs on each train indicate the rail line and the final destination for that train.

Step 4: Stand behind the yellow strip

Yellow strips located next to the tracks indicate the safe waiting distance from the trains. Stay behind the strip until the train comes to a complete stop. Once the train has stopped the doors open automatically, or you can open the door by pushing one of the lighted green buttons.

Step 5: Prepare to Board

It is easier and faster for everyone if you allow other passengers to get off the train before you board.

If you are riding rail to special events, crowds may be waiting to board at some stations. Please form orderly lines and be patient if you have to wait a few extra minutes until a train arrives with available space.

Riding Commuter Rail

Commuter rail comes to Denver with the new University of Colorado A Line and the B Line to Westminster. Commuter rail has many new, different features than light rail. Commuter rail trains carry more passengers, operate at higher speeds and make fewer stops than light rail.

The University of Colorado A Line provides fast, convenient service to DIA. Additionally, commuter rail vehicles offer different cargo space options for travelers making their way to and from Denver International Airport.

Boarding the train
Once the train has come to a complete stop and the doors have opened, you may safely board the train. If you see the doors are closing, please wait for the next train to safely board.
Luggage Storage
Commuter rail vehicles feature overhead storage running the entire length of the vehicle, similar to an airplane or regional bus. Additionally, there are two designated luggage storage racks per vehicle.
Bikes and Large Cargo
Each vehicle has two multi-purpose storage racks. Each storage area can hold two bikes, four per vehicle. This large storage space is also ideal for large pieces of luggage like skis and snowboards.
Level Boarding
With commuter rail cars, every door has level boarding. This means there are no steps to maneuver when boarding or exiting the train. You can roll your bike, luggage, stroller, or wheel chair directly onto the vehicle.
Learn more about riding commuter rail

Be Safe around Buses and Trains

With the opening of the University of Colorado A Line, RTD wants to remind everyone to be safe around buses and trains.

Don't touch those wires. The wires above the train are dangerous and extremely high voltage. Never try to touch them or reach them with an object.

When it's gone, it's gone. Never chase or touch a moving vehicle. Your life is more important than a few missed minutes.

Stay off the tracks. Stay alert when near the tracks - it might save your life. Trains travel at high speeds, come from both directions and can't stop very easily.

Step 6: Be ready for fare inspection

Fare inspectors circulate through rail cars to check for valid fare. When asked, show your validated ticket, pass, upgrade, zone receipt, smart card or 3-Hour Pass. You may also be asked to show your ticket, pass or 3-Hour Pass at rail stations in areas identified by "Fare Paid Zone" signs.

Step 7: Exit at your stop

Your train will stop at every station along the route. To exit, the door will open automatically or push the "Open Door" button located near the door.

How to transfer between train and bus

  • Your validated train ticket serves as valid fare payment if you need to complete your trip on a bus. Just show your bus driver the validated train ticket as you board.
  • If you are starting out on a bus and then transferring to train, be sure to ask the bus driver for a 3-Hour Pass when you board the bus and keep it with you in case a train fare inspector asks for proof of payment.
  • All passes are valid on train. Depending on how many train fare zones you travel through, you may need to pay an additional fare.
  • Learn more about how to transfer.

Wheelchair accessibility

All rail vehicles are accessible to riders with mobility devices, and have seating areas available for riders with mobility devices. At light rail stations, passenger loading ramps are located on the platform. Wait at the top of the ramp for the train to stop. Operators will help you board and exit the train. Commuter rail vehicles offer level boarding at each door with no need to use a ramp to board the train.