Want to get around Denver without a car? There are tons of resources that help you commute greener and enjoy the mile high scenery! I’ve compiled a list of maps, apps, and other tools for your viewing and downloading pleasure. Enjoy!
Denver Bike Map
View all of Denver’s bike lanes, trails, and shared roadways via this map provided by the City of Denver. It’s also very useful for teaching you the various bike laws like what lights need to go on your bike, sidewalk rules, and bringing your bike on the light rail. For the full details, download the bike map PDF below! You can also use Google Maps and choose the bike option when getting directions. This will usually take you down roads that have bike paths or on bike friendly routes.
RTD Schedules and Map
The light rail is a great way to get around town and to the suburbs outside of the city. For those of you who don’t know what a light rail is, it is essentially a small passenger train powered by the grid. You can download the PDF map of all the RTD lines and where they stop via the button below. I’ve also provided the schedules for the various lines to see when the trains arrive at their stops.
There are a few car sharing options in Denver, and though it may not be practical if you outright own your car already, it can be a useful program for people who can get by with using a car sparingly or don’t want to carry the burden of leasing a car with payments.
Essentially, you pay for a membership and are granted access to cars placed all around the city to drive and drop off either at designated parking spots or at any legal parking area.
Additionally, studies have shown that car sharing actually “creates a net reduction on the number of vehicles on the road, which in turn seems to be reducing the number of vehicle-miles traveled and greenhouse-gas emissions.” (City Lab) A UC Berkley study found that cars per household on average decreased from .47 vehicles per household to .24 vehicles per household when car sharing became an option for transportation. Multiply that by the millions of people that use car sharing, and you are taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road!
5280 magazine created a list of all the car sharing programs in Denver. See the article via the link below.
Lyft & Uber (Ride Hailing App)
Most, if not all, American Millennials have either used or at least know of Lyft or Uber. These are “ride hailing” apps that are cheaper and much more bearable alternatives to a taxi. The drivers are often just regular people looking to make extra money driving their own cars – and so they aren’t disgruntled towards taxi companies that charge for their drivers to use cars they don’t own and pay terrible wages. If you are going to use these apps as a form of green commuting, you’ll have to use the “Line” or “Pool” features, which have you share the car with someone else along your route. You can also use these apps to carpool out for the night with friends to avoid drunk driving!