RTD Shuttle Grant!

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 eight 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 and 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.

By | 2016-12-05T16:25:31+00:00 July 9, 2010|Categories: Economic Growth, Streets, Sustainability, Transit, Transportation|8 Comments


  1. Ralph July 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    A tip for RTD – Yellow, Orange, Red and Blue(0,0,256) are terribly dated from the 1970s. Please update your branding and color marketing. People want to ride on transit that feels modern, not something that reminds them of 70s grime. These shuttles are a big step in the right direction.



    not this


  2. CN July 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Do these buses really cost $650K each?

  3. cowpanzie July 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    WOW! Luscious and huge too? Way more improved over the last 15 years of duckiemobiles (quack)… Maybe they should cover them in reflective mylar so people can check their hair when they pull up, heh, JK. I’m not sure if this picture really tells us how large these creatures are, why they almost look double-decker don’t they! Are they going to be able to maneuver well? I am so so so glad they are finally replacing the crap that’s been waddling down the mall ‘forever’. But in my heart of hearts I would rather see cute little antique trolley cars on rails giving the mall an I.M. PEI – Flash Gordon / Wild Wild West combo theme. Sorry I think I’m certainly demonstrating how sick (and dated) I am there. Excuse me please for my over characterizations…I know rails would cost way too much just like everything else these days going to global market non compete values and so on with international suppliers raising the bar on costs, what do we have left? What we can get. Great job RTD! Hopefully it’s not the last federal grant program available either. Didn’t mean to sound negative there, I was just doing some hoping.

    • saint July 10, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      I think all of us would like to see some antique rail cars on the mall.

      But heck, even all white buses look better than the current branding!

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  5. CDB July 11, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Exactly Ralph!!!!! Ralph must be a marketing expert!. Beside the point, If DTDP is going to spend the money to re-do the 16th, we should still consider street cars. Can u imagine Denver’s #1 tourist attraction being based on trolleys v. buses. I mean its obvious to me that it would pay for it self in one convention season, but is it obvious to anyone else?

  6. Dirk Gently July 11, 2010 at 8:45 am

    For these buses, I say go with something along Ralph’s first pic: emphasize the Rockies, the West, the outdoors, since it’s marketing Denver and the surrounding area. For the eventual street car line from the Capitol to Colorado Blvd. and beyond, THAT is when you go antique, evoking Denver’s gold rush era.

  7. svc July 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    ITA with Ralph and Dirk. RTD needs to take a clue from other cities and make public transit look like something someone would want to be seen in. Our light rail cars are triibly boring too. I think it would be great if Denver would use some money from the public art fund and hire local artists to create moving works of art on busses and light rail or maybe different Colorado scenery on each one. just a thought. Anything would be better than than the status quo.

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