Durango Transit: A Transportation Overview


As the regional hub and county seat of La Plata County, Durango transit serves as an important transportation center for southwest Colorado.

From riding the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to hopping on the free trolley during one of Durango’s beloved seasonal festivals, transportation weaves together this tapestry of experiences for visitors and locals alike. This guide will equip you to easily navigate Durango and maximize your time in this Four Corners gem.


  • Durango offers a variety of public transportation options including bus routes, shuttle services, and a free downtown trolley.
  • Special services provide transportation accessibility for disabled passengers and seniors.
  • Bike-friendly initiatives, route-planning apps, and sustainability efforts demonstrate Durango's commitment to transportation innovation.
  • Unique transportation experiences like the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and event shuttles showcase Durango's rich culture.

All Aboard: An Overview of Durango Transit

As the regional transit provider, Durango Transit offers six in-town fixed routes plus regional service connecting Durango with nearby towns like Bayfield. Buses run daily with reduced schedules on weekends. The Transit Center in downtown Durango serves as the main hub.

In addition to traditional buses, Durango Transit operates the red T shuttle, which transports riders between downtown hotels and attractions. This service is free to the public and provides a fun way for visitors to explore historic downtown.

Durango also offers on-demand shuttle service to Durango-La Plata Airport (DRO) via Road Runner Transit, as well as private shuttles to popular ski resorts and regional destinations. Between public transit, private shuttles, regional bus connections, taxis, car rentals, and rideshares, Durango visitors have plenty of options to get around.

All Aboard for Accessibility

Durango Transit ensures transportation accessibility for disabled residents and visitors through lift-equipped buses, ramps and kneeling features, priority seating, and stop announcements. Discounted fares are also available.

The free T shuttle service also features a wheelchair lift and kneeling option alongside bike racks for mobility device transport. For more individualized service, Road Runner Transit provides accessible private airport shuttles by request.

Beyond buses and shuttles, Durango’s historic downtown features accessible sidewalks, curb cuts, and pedestrian crossings to facilitate travel for wheelchair users, elderly individuals, and those with mobility limitations.

Pedaling Toward Sustainability

As a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community, Durango prioritizes bike infrastructure and public education to promote cycling for both recreation and transportation. Transit buses all feature bike racks, allowing riders to combine cycling and public transit for car-free travel.

The paved Animas River Trail extends over 7 miles along the Animas River, offering cyclists and pedestrians safe passage through town. Durango Transit also runs trail shuttle services in the summer to transport bikers between Durango and the neighboring town of Hermosa for access to even more cycling trails.

These investments in bike-friendly infrastructure bolster Durango’s public health and sustainability goals while preserving the area’s natural beauty by reducing traffic congestion and emissions.

Riding the Rails of History

No transportation guide to Durango would be complete without mention of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (DandSNG). This National Historic Landmark carries riders in vintage coal-fired steam locomotives along the breathtaking Animas River Valley from Durango to the old mining town of Silverton.

The railroad first steamed into Silverton in 1882 to haul gold and silver ore. Today, it hauls over 200,000 tourists annually behind historic steam engines that look and sound much like they did over a century ago. Riding the rails gives visitors a taste of Durango’s frontier mining heritage.

Navigating Snowdown: Event Transportation

Snowdown is Durango’s annual winter festival, held every January/February. This community tradition transforms downtown into a winter wonderland celebratory scene with parades, costumes, snow sculptures, and more.

With hotels often booked solid during Snowdown, event transportation helps visitors make the most of the festivities. Durango Transit offers free shuttle service throughout Snowdown, providing easy transportation between popular locations.

The Transit Center also serves as a central point for transportation information during Snowdown. Friendly staff help visitors navigate route changes, transit schedules, parking options, and other event transportation logistics.

Planning Your Journey

A few insider tips will help travelers easily navigate Durango’s transportation network:

  • Use the RouteShout 2.0 app for real-time tracking of Durango Transit buses. This even works in areas with no cell service, like Durango's remote valleys.
  • Purchase regional bus passes or book shuttle trips to popular destinations like Mesa Verde National Park in advance online to save money over paying cash fares.
  • The Durango Transit Center near the corner of 8th Street and 2nd Avenue serves as the main hub for route maps, schedule info, and ticket purchases.
  • During Snowdown and other major events, allow extra transit time and expect delays due to higher ridership, rolling street closures for parades, and festive crowds packed downtown.

No matter your preferred mode of travel, Durango’s combination of public transit, bike infrastructure, and unique transportation experiences like the historic railroad and event shuttles make navigating this mountain town an unforgettable adventure.

Whether you prefer pedaling around town on two wheels or letting the steam train transport you back in time, Durango Transit weaves together this tapestry of experiences into the vibrant urban hub of southwest Colorado that is uniquely Durango. Enjoy the ride!

FAQ About Durango Transportation

How do I use Durango’s public transportation system?

Durango’s buses and trolley shuttle cover most areas of town. Check durangogov.org/transit for routes, schedules and the RouteShout app for real-time tracking. Tickets can be purchased on board with cash or via a mobile app.

Does Durango have an airport shuttle?

Yes, Road Runner Transit provides a shared shuttle service between Durango-La Plata Airport and downtown Durango hotels. Shuttles can be scheduled in advance online or booked at the last minute at the transportation desk in the airport baggage claim area.

Is there public transportation to Mesa Verde National Park?

Unfortunately no. However, some tour companies like Durango Rivertrippers offer guided day trips to Mesa Verde, including round-trip transportation from Durango hotels. You can also drive to Mesa Verde in about 90 minutes or take a regional bus to nearby Cortez, then grab a taxi to the park entrance.

How bike-friendly is Durango transportation?

Extremely bike-friendly! Durango Transit buses have bike racks, and many hotels provide complimentary cruiser bikes for guests. The paved Animas River Trail facilitates cycling through town. Durango also has an extensive network of mountain biking trails.

How can I take the Durango and Silverton train?

Trains depart Durango daily during summer and shoulder seasons. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or same-day at the ticket booth next to the Durango Train Depot off Main Avenue. Prices vary by train class. Book early for the best availability.

What transportation is available during Snowdown?

Free Snowdown shuttles circulate visitors between downtown hotels, Main Ave, and popular Snowdown locations from morning to midnight during the festival. Additional transit info and resources are available inside the Durango Transit Center. Expect delays and allow extra transit time due to Snowdown crowds.

Where is the Durango airport?

The Durango-La Plata County Airport, commonly referred to as Durango Airport, is strategically positioned approximately 15 miles southeast of Durango, Colorado. This airport acts as the central hub for air travel in the southwest Colorado region, facilitating connections to various major cities.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.