Denver Uber riders pay some of the highest rates in the country

In July, prices went up a bit more, after a statewide fee on deliveries and ride shares went into effect.

An Uber waits for a passenger outside of Union Station, Dec. 31, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

An Uber waits for a passenger outside of Union Station, Dec. 31, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

kyle harris

Denver has the third most expensive Uber rate in the United States, according to a new study of the company’s ride-share prices around the world from NetCredit.

The average cost of a 6.2-mile ride in the Mile High City? $33.19.

New York is the most expensive U.S. city to catch an Uber, the study shows. The fare for the same distance averages $34.74, followed by Nashville, where it’s $34.63.

The cheapest place to catch an Uber in the U.S.: El Paso, Texas, where that 6.2-mile trip costs $12.56.

Bern, Switzerland is the priciest place on the planet to take that ride, costing an average of $42.80. The cheapest: Islamabad, Pakistan, where you’d only pay an average of $1.39.

The study tracked Uber’s price estimate feature at multiple times of the day in cities worldwide.

Notably, San Francisco and San Jose, California were not included in the study, because Uber does not publish price estimates there.

Why is Uber so expensive in Denver?

“Denver could be an expensive city for Uber rides because of factors like fees, demand and availability,” Beverly Clair, a spokesperson for NetCredit, wrote in an email.

The study was conducted in April 2022.

Fees likely got even higher in Denver — and across Colorado — in July.

“As of July 1, Coloradans are paying more for deliveries from Amazon, DoorDash and UPS, and extra for rides with Uber and Lyft,” explained Clair. “The new fees are part of a 2021 law signed by Gov. Jared Polis and authored by Democratic lawmakers to generate $3.8 billion for transportation projects and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the state.”

What’s the cheapest way to get around Denver?

Walking or rolling, silly. Biking’s next — if you have a bike.

Lyft and Lime scooters and e-bikes are other solid options, though far from the most affordable or safe.

You can buy a three-hour RTD ticket instead of taking an Uber 6.2 miles. Sure, it will take a little longer, but you’ll save $30.19. You can ride the bus all day long for $6.

Best of all, in August, RTD rides will be free as part of the Zero Fare for Better Air program.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the RTD pass was good for two hours. It’s three. We regret the error.

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