• Denver's Public Transportation System is comprehensive and makes living without a car enjoyable.
  • Biking in Denver is a great option for transportation and exploring the city.
  • Denver has a walkability score of 61, making it easy to accomplish daily errands on foot.
  • Living car-free in Denver can save you money on car payments, insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking fees.
  • Exploring Denver's neighborhoods on foot allows you to experience the city's unique character and charm.
  • Living car-free in Denver offers benefits such as a more active and healthy lifestyle, reduced carbon footprint, stronger sense of community, and time and stress savings.
  • Tips for living car-free in Denver include familiarizing yourself with public transit options, investing in a good bicycle, using rideshare services strategically, planning errands and outings, staying informed about local events and resources, and being prepared for inclement weather.

Denver's Public Transportation System

Denver's Public Transportation System is one of the main reasons why living without a car in this city is not only possible but also enjoyable. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates a comprehensive network of buses, light rail, and commuter rail services, making it easy to get around without a personal vehicle. This is a key factor in making Denver a great city for a car-free urban lifestyle.

Light Rail and Commuter Rail - Denver's light rail system consists of 11 lines and 53 stations, covering a large portion of the city and extending to nearby suburbs. The commuter rail, known as the A Line, connects downtown Denver to Denver International Airport, making it convenient for both residents and visitors. The trains are clean, efficient, and run frequently, ensuring a smooth commute. This makes Denver a great option for those looking for car-free travel destinations.

Bus Services - In addition to the rail system, Denver's extensive bus network serves the city and surrounding areas with over 125 routes. The buses are equipped with bike racks, making it easy to combine biking and public transportation for a truly car-free lifestyle. The Free MallRide and Free MetroRide services offer convenient options for navigating downtown Denver. This combination of biking and public transportation aligns well with the tips provided in our guide to transitioning to a car-free lifestyle.

Accessibility and Affordability - Denver's public transportation system is not only efficient but also accessible and affordable. Reduced fares are available for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income riders. Additionally, the MyRide card and mobile ticketing options make it easy to pay for your trips without the need for cash or paper tickets. These features make Denver a great option for those seeking public transit-friendly cities.

Overall, Denver's public transportation system is a major asset for those looking to live a car-free lifestyle. With its extensive coverage, accessibility, and affordability, it's no wonder that many Denver residents are choosing to embrace the convenience of public transit. For more information on living without a car, check out our comprehensive guide to car-free living.

Biking in Denver: A Great Option

Biking in Denver is not only a great option for transportation, but it's also a fun way to explore the city. Denver has an extensive bike trail system that covers over 85 miles, making it easy to get around on two wheels. The city also has a bike-sharing program called B-cycle, which has over 80 stations throughout the city. This makes Denver one of the top bike-friendly cities around the world for car-free living enthusiasts.

Biking in Denver is a great way to stay active and healthy. Whether you're commuting to work or just going for a leisurely ride, biking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Biking in Denver is also an eco-friendly way to get around. By choosing to bike instead of drive, you're reducing your carbon footprint and helping to keep the air clean. Plus, biking is a great way to avoid traffic and save time on your commute.

If you're new to biking in Denver, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. The city has a bike map that shows all of the bike trails and lanes, as well as information on bike parking and safety tips. Several bike shops throughout the city offer rentals, repairs, and even guided tours. For more tips on car-free living and biking in cities, check out our guide to top destinations for car-free cycling trips.

Overall, biking in Denver is a great option for anyone looking to live a car-free lifestyle. With its extensive bike trail system, bike-sharing program, and active community of bikers, Denver is the perfect city for anyone who loves to ride. For more insights on car-free living in major US cities, you can read our in-depth comparison of living car-free in major US cities.

Denver's Walkability Score: Why It Matters

When considering a car-free lifestyle, one of the most important factors to take into account is a city's walkability score. Denver boasts a walk score of 61, making it the 16th most walkable large city in the United States. This score is based on the ease of accomplishing daily errands on foot, the availability of public transit, and the overall pedestrian-friendliness of the city.

First and foremost, a high walkability score means that daily necessities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and shops are easily accessible on foot. This is crucial for those who rely on walking as their primary mode of transportation. In Denver, many neighborhoods, such as Capitol Hill, Downtown, and Cherry Creek, have walk scores above 80, making them ideal for car-free living.

Another reason why walkability matters is the health benefits associated with walking. Regular walking can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and promote weight loss. Living in a walkable city like Denver encourages residents to incorporate walking into their daily routines, leading to a healthier lifestyle overall.

Lastly, walkability contributes to a strong sense of community within a city. When people are out walking, they are more likely to interact with their neighbors and engage in local events. This fosters a sense of belonging and connection that is often missing in car-dependent cities.

In summary, Denver's walkability score is an essential factor to consider when living car-free in the city. It not only makes daily errands more manageable but also promotes a healthier lifestyle and a stronger sense of community.

The Cost of Living Car-Free in Denver

Living car-free in Denver is not only a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice, but it can also save you a significant amount of money. The cost of living car-free in Denver is considerably lower than owning and maintaining a vehicle, and here's why:

1. No Car Payments or Insurance Costs

When you choose to live without a car, you eliminate the need for monthly car payments and insurance premiums. By living car-free, you can save thousands of dollars annually.

2. Reduced Maintenance and Gas Expenses

Owning a car comes with ongoing maintenance costs, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and other repairs. Additionally, gas prices can fluctuate and add up quickly. By relying on Denver's public transportation, biking, or walking, you can avoid these expenses and put that money toward other aspects of your life.

3. No Parking Fees

Parking in Denver can be both challenging and expensive, especially in popular areas like downtown or near major attractions. By living car-free, you can avoid the stress and cost of finding and paying for parking.

Overall, the cost of living car-free in Denver is significantly lower than owning a car, thanks to the savings on car payments, insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking fees. By opting for a car-free lifestyle, you can enjoy the financial benefits while also reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable city.

Exploring Denver's Neighborhoods on Foot

One of the most enjoyable aspects of living car-free in Denver is the opportunity to explore the city's diverse neighborhoods on foot. With a mix of historic districts, trendy hotspots, and charming residential areas, there's always something new to discover. In this section, I'll share my firsthand experiences of wandering through Denver's neighborhoods and the hidden gems I've encountered along the way. This is one of the many benefits of a car-free lifestyle.

Lower Downtown (LoDo)

LoDo is Denver's oldest neighborhood, boasting a rich history and stunning architecture. Walking through its streets, you'll find a mix of restored warehouses, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Union Station, a beautifully restored train station that now houses a hotel, restaurants, and shops.

Capitol Hill

As the name suggests, Capitol Hill is home to Colorado's State Capitol building and offers a blend of historic mansions, modern condos, and lush parks. Strolling through this neighborhood, you'll find yourself immersed in Denver's political and cultural history. Be sure to visit the Molly Brown House Museum, the former home of the famous Titanic survivor.


Located just northwest of downtown, the Highlands neighborhood is a vibrant mix of old and new. With its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and trendy restaurants, it's a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. Don't miss the chance to walk across the pedestrian-friendly Highland Bridge for stunning views of the city skyline.

Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek is known for its upscale shopping district and beautiful residential areas. Walking through this neighborhood, you'll find a mix of high-end boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Be sure to visit the Cherry Creek North shopping district and the nearby Cherry Creek Trail, a lovely path for walking or biking.

Exploring Denver's neighborhoods on foot not only allows you to experience the city's unique character and charm but also helps you stay active and healthy. Plus, you'll likely stumble upon hidden gems that you might have missed if you were driving. This is a great example of the benefits of car-free urban living. So, lace up your walking shoes and start discovering everything Denver has to offer!

The Benefits of Living Car-Free in Denver

Living car-free in Denver offers a multitude of benefits that go beyond just saving money on gas and car maintenance. One of the biggest advantages is the opportunity to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. With a variety of transportation options available, such as biking, walking, and public transportation, it's easy to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

In addition to the health benefits, living car-free in Denver also allows for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. By reducing your carbon footprint, you can feel good about doing your part to help the planet. Plus, with Denver's commitment to sustainability and green initiatives, you'll find plenty of resources and support for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Another advantage of living car-free in Denver is the opportunity to connect with your community. When you're not isolated in a car, you have more opportunities to interact with your neighbors and explore your surroundings. Whether it's chatting with fellow commuters on the bus or discovering a new local business on foot, living car-free can help you feel more connected to the people and places around you.

Finally, living car-free in Denver can also save you time and reduce stress. Without the hassle of traffic and parking, you can spend more time doing the things you love and less time sitting in a car. Plus, with the money you save on car-related expenses, you can invest in experiences that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Overall, living car-free in Denver offers a wide range of benefits that can enhance your quality of life in numerous ways. Whether you're looking to save money, improve your health, or connect with your community, living car-free is a great option to consider.

Tips for Living Car-Free in Denver

Living car-free in Denver can be a rewarding experience, but it does require some planning and adaptation. Here are some tips to help you embrace the car-free lifestyle in the Mile High City:

1. Familiarize yourself with public transit options: Spend some time exploring the RTD website and download their mobile app to help you plan your trips. Get to know the bus and light rail routes that serve your neighborhood and the places you frequent. Don't forget to take advantage of the free MallRide and MetroRide services in downtown Denver. For more public transit tips, check out our comprehensive guide.

2. Invest in a good bicycle: Denver's extensive network of bike lanes and trails make it a great city for cycling. Purchase a comfortable and reliable bike, and consider adding accessories like a basket or panniers for carrying groceries or other items. Don't forget a sturdy lock to keep your bike secure. For more information on bike-friendly cities, check out our guide on living car-free in Australia.

3. Use rideshare services strategically: While living car-free means relying less on cars, there will be times when you need a ride. Use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft for occasional trips when public transit or biking isn't practical. Carpool with friends or coworkers when possible to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

4. Plan your errands and outings: Living without a car means you'll need to be more strategic about when and where you run errands. Try to group tasks and plan your trips around public transit schedules. Consider shopping at stores within walking or biking distance of your home, or use delivery services for larger purchases. For more tips on car-free living, check out our article on the best places to live in Florida without a car.

5. Stay informed about local events and resources: Follow local blogs and social media accounts that promote car-free living in Denver. These can help you discover new bike routes, transit-friendly events, and other resources for living without a car. Join local groups or meetups focused on sustainable living and transportation to connect with like-minded individuals.

6. Be prepared for inclement weather: Denver's weather can be unpredictable, so it's essential to be prepared for rain, snow, and cold temperatures. Invest in high-quality rain gear, warm clothing, and waterproof footwear to stay comfortable while walking or biking in various weather conditions.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the many benefits of living car-free in Denver while minimizing the challenges. Embrace the city's walkability, bike-ability, and public transit options, and you'll soon discover that living without a car can be a liberating and rewarding lifestyle choice. For more information on walkable cities in Europe, check out our top 10 pedestrian-friendly cities in Europe for a car-free adventure.


Living a car-free lifestyle in Denver is not only possible but also highly rewarding. The city's walkability, bike-ability, and public transit options make it easy to navigate without a personal vehicle. Moreover, the cost savings associated with ditching your car can be significant, allowing you to allocate those funds toward other aspects of your life. Similar benefits can be found in other locations, such as the best walkable cities in Texas and Ontario or the best cities for car-free living in Florida.

Additionally, the health benefits of living car-free in Denver are undeniable. By choosing to walk, bike, or take public transit, you are actively engaging in physical activity, which can lead to improved overall health and well-being. Not to mention, you are also contributing to a cleaner environment by reducing your carbon footprint. This is a common advantage of car-free living in Canada as well.

Denver's surrounding areas offer a wealth of outdoor activities and scenic destinations, which can be easily explored without a car. With a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy all that the city and its surroundings have to offer, even as a car-free resident. This is similar to the experience of car-free living in various Florida cities, where residents can enjoy beach camping and other outdoor activities.

While there are some challenges to living car-free in Denver, such as occasional inclement weather or limited public transit options in certain areas, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. By following our tips for living car-free in Denver, you can successfully navigate the city and enjoy a sustainable, healthy, and cost-effective lifestyle. Similar challenges and benefits can be found in other locations, such as Florida and Texas, and Ontario.

So, whether you're considering a move to Denver or are already a resident looking to ditch your car, embrace the car-free lifestyle and discover the many advantages it offers. You can also consider other locations with great car-free living options, such as Canada or Florida. Happy exploring!

Lula Harris
Samantha is passionate about sustainable living, urban planning, and outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

Lula is an independent writer and passionate globetrotter who has embraced a carless way of life for over ten years. With a fondness for exploring unfamiliar places, she thrives on discovering creative modes of transportation that don't involve a car.

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