New proposal aims to bring public transit to Red Rocks Amphitheater (Local News Tips & Reviews)

DENVER — How about catching a public bus to Red Rocks? Believe it or not, public transportation isn’t even an option to the world class concert venue, but it could be coming soon.

While Red Rocks Amphitheater offers some amazing views and spectacular shows, what it lacks is accessibility to all.

“It would be nice to take some public transportation to the concerts,” said a visitor named Linda who lives in Denver. “Save on gas, save on time spent in traffic,” said another visitor to the park named Carl who lives in south Denver.

“I think that’s a huge part of Denver’s issues, in general,” said Sarah Papsun, a DU grad student who was visiting the park for the first time since moving to Denver. “I think the lack of public transportation is something that really does not allow people who do not have access to cars the ability to explore their own city and own state.”

Because of that, a group called Transit 2 Red Rocks, which is spearheaded by current mayoral candidate Ean Thomas Tafoya, is hoping to finally bring public bus service to the world-class amphitheater.

“People don’t have access to this amazing outdoor equity,” said Tafoya who has served on the Denver Parks and Recreation board.

Tafoya has been working on this issue for years, including recent involvement and support from both the governor’s office and the Town of Morrison. He believes now is the time to finally make it happen.

“It’s about multi-modal goals,” Tafoya said. “It’s about accessibility for people who do not drive. It’s about climate action and it’s about public safety for all the people coming here. The city makes money on selling liquor and then tells everyone to get on out of here and back on the roads.”

The cost of public transit to Red Rocks could be subsidized by event ticket sales. Parking at Red Rocks is already subsidized and baked into the price of every ticket. The venue seats just under 10,000 people. Hypothetically, if it were $0.50 cents per ticket, that would generate $5,000 per show for public transit, not including what the city would charge per bus ticket.

“This place generates millions of dollars,” Tafoya said. “There’s definitely enough money here to subsidize public transit.”

“I would love it,” said a visitor who did not wish to be identified for this story. “We’ve hired private buses before and yeah, they’re expensive,” said another person visiting the amphitheater this week who also did not wish to be identified for this story.

What’s still unclear is how often bus service to Red Rocks would operate, but Tafoya said there’s certainly plenty of ‘round the clock demand.

“We know people want to be here at sunrise,” Tafoya said. “We know people want to be here at sunset. We know people are leaving here at midnight and workers are leaving later at night than that, even. Public transit creates equity for them.”

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