RTD received word yesterday that they will receive $5.2 million through the US Department of Transportation’s Bus & Bus Facilities Discretionary Grant Program to replace 8 mall shuttles!
The new shuttles will be built by DesignLine of Charlotte, North Carolina. (Rendering above of the model of bus which will be used was provided by DesignLine and RTD.) They’ll be branded, just like the current mall shuttles – the exterior branding design is still undecided though, so that’s why the rendering is simply white. They will employ a state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion system and produce about 90% less exhaust emissions over the current shuttles, take advantage of a regeneration feature – a process in which electricity is generated by taking advantage of frequent braking action along the mall. This way, the shuttles can operate in electric zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mode about 50% of the time. Last, but certainly not least, these new shuttles will have both heating and air conditioning!
You should start seeing new mall shuttles out on 16th Street sometime next year.
RTD submitted 5 grants total – Broadway/Euclid Improvements (Boulder), US 36 BRT Buses, Downtown Distributor, Civic Center Station Rehabilitation, and the Mall Shuttle Replacement Project – in the Bus & Bus Facilities and Urban Circulators Grant Programs. Sadly, they didn’t receive any money for the other grants. But, some is better than none!
For a full listing of grant winners, check out http://www.fta.dot.gov/news/news_events_11820.html.