City Expands Fare-Free Microtransit Service, Denver, CO, 2022
5 minutes Date Launched: Nov 1, 2022 Dates given are approximate. Pilot Project Timeframe: 2 years
Credit: City and County of Denver
The City and County of Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is expanding its fare-free microtransit service. Called the Denver Connector, the microtransit program began its operations in the Montbello area of Denver in October 2021 for just a one-year pilot. After providing a reported 46,000 passengers through the end of October 2022, the Denver Connector will now offer rides to its customers in Gateway, adjacent to Montbello, and the neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES). In the new GES zone, customers will have access to three vehicles: a wheelchair-accessible van, a plug-in hybrid minivan, and an electric sedan. Four vehicles will serve the Montbello-Gateway zone. Customers can request their rides in real-time using the Denver Connector smartphone app or by calling a central hotline. DOTI reports that customers can expect their pick up within 30 minutes of their request. For both the Montbello-Gateway and GES zones, the Denver Connector operates from 6 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Friday. For this microtransit program, DOTI has partnered with Downtowner, a booking and routing technology company, and Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC), a transportation management association.
The Denver Connector is designed to enhance shared mobility choices for residents and commuters in areas with lower levels of fixed-route transit service. Considerable levels of success within its first pilot year led the Denver City Council to extend the microtransit programs’ operations for an additional two years. The Denver Connector can potentially serve as a model of how to design and implement a shared mobility service that has a lasting impact on a community.