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Denver offers a variety of transportation options like any major city. Within the downtown area, where many of the city's bus and rail transit lines converge, getting around without a car is relatively easy. In addition to RTD buses and rail, the free 16th Street Mall Shuttle, Denver B-Cycle bike sharing, and various taxi and pedi-cab services allow visitors the chance to explore the city center without having to drive everywhere.
Outside of downtown, a car will be necessary unless your destination is located along one of the city's rail lines, which currrently (2013) extend into the southwestern, southeastern, and western suburbs. For more information on Denver's public bus and rail services, visit the website for RTD (Regional Transportation District), the region's transit authority. Future rail lines to the northwestern, northern, and eastern parts of the metro area (including Denver International Airport) are under construction with opening dates planned for 2016.
The major expressways in Denver include Interstate 25, the main north-south highway, Interstate 70, the main east-west highway and the route west into the Rocky Mountains, and various other metro-area expressways such as I-225, I-76, and I-270.
The 470 "beltway" around the metro area consists of three major segments. The southwest quadrant of the beltway is a toll-free expressway maintained by the state. The entire eastern half of the beltway is the E-470 toll road, with tolls charged depending on the distance traveled and operated by a private company. The northwestern quadrant of the beltway is not complete, but the segment that is complete is called the Northwest Parkway, and is also a toll road operated by a private company.
The Denver metro area has hundreds of miles of off-street bike and pedestrian paths, many following natural waterways or drainage corridors such as the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, as well as along the 470 beltway corridor.