With the rise of parking garage fees and the hassle of running out of the bar to feed the meter every two hours, you might be better off ditching the rental car on your trip to Denver. Luckily, there are tons of options for getting around the Mile High City, all of which are cheaper and more convenient than renting a car. Check out our top picks below and start exploring all of the best of Denver.
Our top choices: Lyft & Uber
It’s never been easier to get to where you need to go in the Denver metro area—usually for under $15. Download the Lyft and Uber apps on your phone and request a driver within minutes. Tipping is optional, and sharing your ride with a few friends makes the fare even cheaper. This is the perfect solution for getting home from the bars after you’ve had a few too many drinks to drive. And an extra bonus: enter the code “EFFORTLESS” into the Lyft app to get $50 in free rides!
Cost: Depends on distance of trip and inflation at peak times, but most one-way trips in the metro area fall between $5 and $20.
The ideal choice for when you have a few errands to run in an afternoon and want your car to be waiting for you when you return, car2go is a rental program in which you pay only for the time when you’re actually driving the car. Sign up and they’ll send you a membership card, then use the car2go app to find one of their smart cars parked all around the city. Just walk up to the car, scan your card, get into the car, and do what you need to do. The best part is that you don’t have to return the car to a specific place—as long as you’re in the Denver metro area in a legal spot, you’re fine. There are even reserved car2go spots in some parking lots and garages downtown.
Cost: $35 for a lifetime membership and $0.41/minute. On special right now for $10/hour and $50/day. No parking, insurance, or gas fees.
For more info: https://www.car2go.com/US/en/denver/
Zipcar is a similar concept as car2go, but is better for driving trips planned far in advance because there is a minimum driving time of one hour and you must park the car in its original spot. Both car2go and Zipcar use membership cards that enable you to unlock any car in the city, as long as it is not already reserved. The pricing is comparable to car2go, but Zipcar makes more sense for round trips than quick one-way journeys.
Cost: $25 application fee, $7/month (unless you log $50 a month), and $8-$10 per hour. No parking, insurance, or gas fees.
For More Info: http://www.zipcar.com/denver
Denver’s main bike sharing program, B-Cycle makes it possible for you to get to where you’re going and get in some exercise at the same time. There are 88 stations and 700 bikes in the Denver metro area, so you’ll always be close to a pickup and return location. Each trip from station to station is limited to 30 minutes (except for members with the annual pass)—any additional time will incur overtime charges. With 24-hour, monthly, and annual passes, there are plenty of options for exploring Denver while getting your heart pumping.
Cost: 24 Hour Pass: $9 (unlimited 30-minute trips for 24 hours), Flex Pass: $15/year & $3 for every 30-minute ride, Monthly Pass: $15/month (unlimited 30-minute trips all month), Annual Pass: $135/year (unlimited 60-minute trips all year).
For more info: https://denver.bcycle.com/
RTD Light Rail
Affordable and convenient, the light rail is a great way to get around Denver—especially if you’re headed somewhere special like Sports Authority Field for a Broncos game or the Theatre District for a show. There are 53 stations in Denver, and many are centrally located at Denver hotspots like the Pepsi Center and 16th Street Mall. And with the addition of the new $9 A-line going directly from Union Station to DIA, it couldn’t be simpler for both locals and tourists to get to the airport.
Cost: Local Pass: $2.60 (1-2 zones), Regional Pass: $4.50 (3 zones), Airport Pass: $9
For more info: http://www.rtd-denver.com/lightrail.shtml