Oct 25 Media Advisory from Denver Department of Public Works:
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, members of Denver City Council and leaders from Denver’s transportation and business communities came together today to launch a new on-demand shuttle service that will provide a convenient new option for people commuting in and around the Cherry Creek, Capitol Hill and Civic Center neighborhoods. The six-month pilot service, offering free rides, will give retail, hospitality and service workers, as well as neighborhood residents, more ways to get around central Denver, especially during the forthcoming holiday shopping season.
“RTD is the foundation of our mass transit system and does a fantastic job, but we can’t sit back and expect RTD to solve all our transportation problems,” said Mayor Hancock. “Cities like Denver need to step up, take the initiative, and be more innovative to enhance or supplement the service our regional transit partner provides so well.”
Starting tomorrow, three City Shuttle vehicles will operate on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Each shuttle will be operated by Chariot and can hold up to 14 riders, with one shuttle having ADA accessibility. To use, riders download the Chariot app, available on iOS and Android, and reserve a seat on the City Shuttle of their choice (see service route map attached).
“Chariot is designed to help cities ease congestion and parking challenges in dense and busy neighborhoods like those in and around Cherry Creek,” said Chariot CEO Dan Grossman. “Denver has welcomed Chariot as a solution and we are excited at the opportunity to offer a new and convenient way for those working in the Cherry Creek area to get to and from work.”
According to a Transportation Solutions survey conducted last year, about 12,000 people work in the retail, hospitality and service industry in Cherry Creek and have an average income of about $30,000 per year. During the pilot, City Shuttle will be free for all riders.
“My neighbors across the city need convenient, affordable transportation,” said Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman. “Transportation is important to our quality of life, and the more choices, the better. This is a great step forward. Denver’s City Council is proud to partner with the Transportation Solutions Foundation and Chariot to get people moving to work, home, and out enjoying our beautiful city.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Chariot to the area and are proud to be working with our partners to introduce this much-needed ‘microtransit’ service,” said Julie Underdahl, President and CEO of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District. “Within Cherry Creek North there are thousands of retail and service workers and Chariot will help get them to their places of work. The connection to the surrounding neighborhoods and Cherry Creek North is vitally important to our community.”
Increasing access to technology to make trips easier and faster aligns with Denver’s Mobility Action Plan, which is providing people with more transportation choices, so they feel more comfortable utilizing other ways to get around town.
“The City is very enthusiastic about the implementation of ‘microtransit’ as a complementary component of our transit system,” said Councilman Wayne New. “Chariot will give greater flexibility in transportation planning as we address the critical first and last mile to our light rail system.”
“Chariot for Cherry Creek and Capitol Hill is a transit-supplement,” said Chris Nevitt, Board Chair of the Transportation Solutions Foundation. “Its greatest value in the future may be as a transit-enhancement to connect more of our citizens, more seamlessly, to more of our existing transit network.”
Denver Public Works will gather data during the pilot to better understand usage and see if “microtransit” can help fulfill a first mile-last mile connection between Capitol Hill and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
The $250,000 pilot is funded through the Denver Smart City program, which is working to connect people to mobile, affordable and environmentally-sustainable city services through leveraging strong partnerships, technology and innovation.
About Denver Smart City
Denver’s Smart City program has the vision that Denver citizens have immediate, complete access to city services in a manner that is mobile, affordable and environmentally sustainable. To achieve the vision, Denver Smart City will connect people to mobile, affordable and environmentally-sustainable city services by leveraging strong partnerships, technology and innovation that are holistic, inclusive, equitable and sustainable to enable people-centered, performance-driven, real-time solutions. For more information, please visit denvergov.org/denversmartcity.
Chariot is reinventing transportation with a microtransit solution that is fast, reliable and affordable for people living in today’s cities. Riders can easily reserve a seat on a Chariot via the iOS or Android app, and hop on one of the company’s 14-passenger Ford Transit vehicles operated by friendly, professional employee drivers. After launching in San Francisco in 2014, the company participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 class and was acquired in September 2016 by Ford Smart Mobility to serve as the cornerstone for its global shuttle services business. Chariot runs more than 100 daily routes serving San Francisco, New York, Austin, Seattle, Columbus, Denver, Chicago, Detroit and London. For more information, please visit www.chariot.com.