Denver RTD launches Transit Assistance Grant program

Jan. 8, 2024
The new grant program will award funds to agencies that present the most need as a nonprofit with the requirement of participating in annual eligibility and documentation process to ensure recipients continue to meet the program criteria.

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) is launching a new grant program in response to the 2023 Systemwide Fare Study and Equity Analysis, which also spurred the systemwide new, lower fare structure. 

Denver RTD's Transit Assistance Grant (TAG) program is seeking applications Jan. 16 – Feb. 29, 2024, from nonprofit organizations and government agencies that serve clients with immediate transit needs.

“Recognizing that access to public transit is access to opportunity, Denver RTD established the grant program to help individuals with immediate need to use transit,” said Denver RTD Director of Civil Rights Division Carl J. Green, Jr.“A recurring theme from customers is the amount of time for enrollment into the LiVE income-based fare discount program. TAG is meant to help fill the gap on a temporary basis for customers with urgent transportation-related requirements. These grants equate to increased independence, access to essential services and employment resources and improved community connections for thousands of immediate needs members in the Denver Metro area.

Denver RTD has set aside $1 million for the program which provides grants of up to $50,000 per organization in Denver RTD fares in the form of standard fare paper 10-Ride Ticket books, which will be provided at no cost to grant recipients who must distribute the tickets to their clients or constituents for free.

Eligibility requirements

To be considered for participation in the grant program, an agency/organization must be designated as exempt from federal income tax under I.R.S. § 501(c)(3) or be a governmental community/social service agency, each of which helps meet the immediate needs of clients, which includes and is not limited to, urgent transportation-related requirements of individuals or communities that could have significant detrimental consequences: vulnerable populations such as seniors, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, clients of the judicial system or others and need reliable transportation to access essential services like pharmacies, groceries, mental health and medical appointments.

Other immediate needs include employment transportation for job seekers, low-wage workers or individuals pursuing education or vocational training opportunities; community outreach and social services; crisis intervention, homelessness support or specialized needs of vulnerable groups such as refugees, immigrants or individuals with severe health conditions.

Selection criteria

A selection panel comprised of Denver RTD staff will determine grant recipients based on clear and transparent evaluation criteria, including whether an organization:

  • Has a nonprofit status, partnership with a fiscal agent that has nonprofit status or is a government agency
  • Serves the immediate needs clients as described in the grant description 
  • Agrees to participate in a mandatory annual eligibility and documentation process ensuring recipients meet the program criteria