Exploring Aurora: Public Transportation Options


Public transportation is vital in connecting communities, enabling mobility, and enhancing the quality of life. In Aurora, Colorado, a diverse transit system serves the transportation needs of residents and visitors while integrating with the city’s unique local culture. Aurora Public Transportation facilitates access and convenience across the region, from RTD light rail lines and extensive bus networks to mobility services, transit-oriented development, and environmental sustainability initiatives.

This article provides an in-depth look at the key features of Aurora’s transit system. It explores the history and local experiences linked to public transportation while highlighting planning resources, fares and passes, safety policies, future expansion, and the impact and benefits of transit in Aurora. Whether a daily commuter, a visiting tourist, or a new resident looking to navigate the city, this is your guide to unlocking Aurora’s potential through its public transportation network.


  • Aurora Public Transportation includes RTD services, bus networks, light rail, mobility services, Bustang, and transit-oriented development.
  • Public transit reflects local culture through art installations and promotes event access.
  • Extensive planning resources and navigation tools are available.
  • Fares vary by service type; passes offer discounts and convenience.
  • Policies and initiatives reinforce safety and accessibility.
  • Expansion plans focus on increased connectivity regionally and within Aurora.
  • Transit delivers sustainability benefits and connects Aurora's communities.

Destination Overview: Aurora Public Transportation

Operated through partnerships between the Regional Transportation District (RTD), the City of Aurora, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Aurora’s transit system is integral to the city’s vision as a thriving, sustainable, and connected community.

The network’s centerpiece is the R Line, a light rail corridor running from Lone Tree through Aurora to Denver International Airport. Aurora’s bus system, which transports over 3 million riders annually, complements this, while regional services like Bustang link the city to destinations across Colorado.

Seamless transfers between rail, bus, and Bustang enable easy navigation, while transit-oriented development in districts like Dayton and Iliff stations integrate public transportation with vibrant residential and commercial hubs.

For visitors and Aurora residents alike, the city’s transit facilitates convenient mobility and the discovery of the city’s rich local experiences and culture. Public art installations at transit centers, partnerships with cultural institutions, and access to key events highlight this interwoven relationship.

Local Experiences and Culture

Beyond moving people from point A to point B, Aurora city planners understand public transportation’s potential to connect communities, promote inclusion, and share culture.

Aurora’s transit history began in the early 20th century with a trolley car network linking Denver to the town’s agricultural lands. This network evolved into electric streetcars and interurban railways, catalyzing Aurora’s growth into a city.

Today, light rail and bus networks continue this legacy of enabling Aurora’s communities to access education, jobs, services, and participation in civic life. Transit also moves people to the places where memories are made. Whether commuting to a concert at Mission Ballroom or grabbing dinner in Old South Gaylord, public transportation facilitates Aurora’s diverse local experiences.

The transit system directly integrates arts and culture through installations like Pena Station‘s “A Forest of Rain.” This sculpture of aluminum leaves, backlit at night, evokes Colorado’s natural landscapes within a busy regional transit hub. Public transportation in Aurora thus interweaves functionality with artistic placemaking and cultural identity in many different ways.

Accessibility and Convenience

Accessibility is a guiding priority across Aurora Public Transportation, reinforced through specialized services, mobility hubs, and rider tools. All buses and light rail vehicles are ADA-compliant, facilitating access for wheelchair users, while call-n-Rides provide door-to-door paratransit.

For new or infrequent riders, Easy Ride guides provide route assistance at major transit centers. Travel training further empowers seniors and people with disabilities to navigate the system. Aurora also operates specialized Call-n-Ride services for older adults and those with medical needs.

Convenience is enhanced through transit-oriented development, integrating bus and rail connections with essential services. The Iliff Station, for example, combines retail, healthcare, and government offices with transit access. Mobility hubs also co-locate rental cars, bike shares, parking, and transit stops.

Aurora’s network of Park-n-Rides offers 8 facilities where commuters can transfer to rail or bus. These include EV charging stations and convenient I-225 access.

Planning and Navigation

Trip planning is facilitated through RTD’s website and apps, which feature route maps, schedules, and tools like Trip Planner and NexTrip real-time arrival data. Riders can also text RTD for the next arrival time at their stop. Information is available in English and Spanish, while Google Maps integrates transit directions in the Denver region.

During service hours, Aurora’s buses and light rail generally offer reliable, frequent service. However, traffic incidents or infrastructure issues can cause delays. Rider alerts provide real-time updates on detours, delays over 15 minutes, and service changes.

Wayfinding signs, system maps, and stop identifiers aid navigation across the network. QuickGuides, RouteShout 2.0, and RideSchedules simplify usage for visitors.

Fares and Passes

Fares for Aurora public transportation vary by service type. Local and regional buses cost $3, while SkyRide to the airport is $10.50. Light rail fares range from $3 to ride a single route to $6 for an airport connection.

Discounted fares are offered for youth, seniors, disabled riders, Medicare recipients, and active-duty military. Children under 6 always ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult rider.

Passes offer a convenient, discounted option for frequent riders. Day passes allow unlimited local or regional travel at roughly 2.5 times the cost of a single trip, while monthly passes provide even greater value, from 32 daily rides to unlimited usage. EcoPasses, CollegePasses, and Business EcoPasses also allow organizations to purchase annual transit passes for students, staff, and residents.

Safety and Policies

Aurora Public Transportation prioritizes customer safety through initiatives like Secure Station Zones with enhanced lighting, security guards, and emergency call boxes. Buses and trains feature onboard security cameras, and passengers are encouraged to report concerning behavior.

RTD Transit Police patrol the system while conducting outreach to vulnerable populations. Riders are empowered to request stops between designated stations at night for added safety.

Key policies guide respectful ridership. Food or drinks posing spill hazards are prohibited. Customers must wear shirts, pants/skirts/shorts, and shoes. Smoking, vaping, disruptive behavior, and harmful conduct are banned.

On buses, mobility devices secure first priority. For bikes, front-loading racks accommodate 2-3 bikes on a first-come basis. Cyclists can also bring bikes aboard light rail cars depending on space availability.

Future Plans and Challenges

Aurora Public Transportation aims to enhance mobility and accessibility across the Denver metro area through expansion projects centered on increased connectivity, speed, and rider experience.

Current plans include next-generation technological improvements such as traffic signal prioritization for buses, low-floor vehicles, and longer station platforms to accommodate 3-car trains. A new bus rapid transit route called the Colfax Rapid Transit is slated to launch in 2025.

Ongoing challenges include securing sustainable funding streams to enable expansion amid rising inflation and construction costs. Congestion and first/last mile connections also impact efficiency. However, transit-oriented development, multimodal hubs, partnerships, and advancing technologies will strengthen the system.

Impact and Benefits

Aurora understands public transportation’s potential for building sustainable, equitable communities. Investing in transit expands access to jobs, education, and services for all residents regardless of income or ability. It also reduces the environmental impact of travel and congestion through lowered emissions and fewer single-occupancy vehicles.

Shared mobility further enables community building through chance encounters and interactions aboard buses and trains. Public transportation can reconnect people to their environments after long commutes in closed cars. Transit design integrates public art, culture, and placemaking and nurtures spaces for creative inspiration.

For Aurora itself, a robust transit network attracts new residents and businesses drawn to sustainable lifestyles. It also meets the needs of major employers like the Anschutz Medical Campus and Denver International Airport while facilitating tourism and economic growth.


How do I plan a trip within Aurora using public transportation?

Use RTD’s Trip Planner tool to enter your start location, destination, travel dates/times, and preferences to view route options, schedules, and fares. Google Maps also provides transit directions in the Denver area.

Where can I find up-to-date information if my bus or train is delayed?

Text RTD at 303-299-6000 with the bus stop or station ID number to receive real-time arrival updates. You can also follow @RideRTD on Twitter or check Rider Alerts at rtd-denver.com for the latest service notifications.

What is the cost of riding the A Line train from Denver International Airport to downtown Denver?

A one-way adult ticket from Denver Airport to downtown Denver’s Union Station on the University of Colorado A Line costs $10.50. Discounted rates are available.

How accessible is Aurora’s public transportation system for seniors and riders with disabilities?

All buses and trains are ADA-compliant with wheelchair ramps/lifts. Paratransit, Call-n-Rides, and travel training are also available. Stations feature accessible paths, sidewalks, boarding areas, and variable message signs.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.