Lafayette’s No Fare Contest

Lafayette's No Fare Contest

Boulder County is holding a contest to gather ideas on increasing transit ridership in Lafayette, CO. $5,000 in cash awards will be given to the best ideas! Ideas must be received by 3 p.m. on Friday, June 23 to be considered.


Boulder County received a $100,000 grant from the Regional Air Quality Council to increase transit ridership in Lafayette and reduce air pollution on high ground-level ozone days. Boulder County Transportation is looking for innovative ideas from the community on how to structure a fare subsidy program that will increase transit ridership by Lafayette residents and employees. Transit use is encouraged for many reasons, including:

  • Reducing air pollution
  • Addressing climate change
  • Reducing congestion on roads
  • Providing affordable travel options

The Contest

We want to collect ideas from the community on the most creative and innovative ways to get people in Lafayette excited about using transit and get new riders to use the bus. The $100,000 in grant money can be used to provide free RTD rides via one-way passes, all-day passes, monthly passes, or RTD’s new stored value card that works like a debit card.

The program could be structured to provide:

  • A few free rides for lots of people, or
  • Several months of free rides for a few people, or
  • Rides for middle and high school students, or
  • Rides for employees who commute to Lafayette, or
  • Contests to see who what group can take the most trips,or
  • A few days where all Lafayette buses are free for all riders

Those are good ideas, but maybe you have a better one? We want ideas on what will get the most people on the bus – not just during the program, but also creates changes in long-term behavior.


The chosen idea/program will be implemented this summer, likely July through September. Programs evaluation and grant reporting will take place this fall. There is no formal application, but proposals regarding ideas should include:

  • A description of how the idea would be implemented and administered.
  • Information on how your idea may change long-term behavior.
  • Identification of groups/agencies involved in implementing the idea.
  • Letters of support from agencies involved that indicate their willingness to support Boulder County in idea implementation.
  • Indication of your (or your group’s) willingness to support Boulder County in idea implementation.

Ideas must be received by 3 p.m. on Friday, June 23. All entries will be scored and ranked within 2 weeks of receipt. Idea concepts should be no more than 5 pages (letters of support are excluded from total page count).


Cash awards will be given to the top 3 ideas as follows:

  • $3,000 for 1st Place
  • $1,500 for 2nd Place
  • $500 for 3rd Place

A selection panel composed of members from the City of Lafayette, Boulder County, the Regional Air Quality Council, and RTD will review all applications and select the winners. Successful candidates will be posted on this webpage.

Legal Stuff

  • Boulder County has sole discretion on whether and how to implement any and all concepts submitted
  • Boulder County has sole discretion and responsibility to manage the project and use the grant funds
  • All components of the applications (ideas, strategies, tactics, etc.) become the property of Boulder County upon submission. Components of an application may be used during program implementation despite not being selected for a cash award.

How to Submit an Idea & Ask Questions

Ideas should be emailed in PDF format to Questions can be directed to the same email address. You will receive confirmation upon successful receipt by Boulder County.

NOTE: Boulder County can receive attachments up to 20MB. Attachments larger than 20MB will need to be split and sent in multiple parts.


Frequently Asked Questions

No. Both the $5,000 in cash awards and $100,000 program budget are earmarked for increasing transit use as stipulated by the grantor.

No. To avoid any perception of bias, Boulder County employees are not eligible to receive the cash award.

You must be at least 18 or provide express written consent from a parent or guardian to submit an entry in this contest.

The grant money comes from federal funds and does have stipulations on what it can be used for. The focus of this grant is to purchase RTD fares; however, money can be spent on marketing, signage, contest set-up and administration, and other expenditures. If you have specific questions on what is eligible, send an email to

About Simple Steps. Better Air.

Simple Steps. Better Air. (SSBA) is a program of the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) – the lead air quality planning agency for the nine-county, Denver Metro/North Front Range area. Through increased outreach and public awareness about ground-level ozone pollution, SSBA aims to create behavior change around air quality issues, and, in doing so, motivate more Coloradans to take action in reducing ozone-causing emissions. Find more simple steps to decrease ozone pollution, sign up for ozone alerts, or log your vehicle trips and ozone-cutting actions in our unique tracking system at

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