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A new autonomous shuttle that transports riders between a commuter-rail station, two businesses and a park-and-ride lot in Denver was deployed yesterday, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced.
The self-driving vehicle will connect passengers traveling from the 61st and Pena rail station to Panasonic Corp. and EasyMile offices, and to the 61st and Pena park-and-ride lots via four stops, RTD officials said in a press release.
RTD, city and business officials marked the vehicle's launch — a first for Denver and Colorado — at a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. Operated by Transdev, the all-electric EasyMile vehicle will continue operating for the next four to six months. Founded in 2014, EasyMile specializes in autonomous vehicle technology.
"We are excited to see how driverless technology will work in Denver and to embrace new, innovative and better mobility options to move more people and improve travel for residents and visitors alike," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
The new service is part of a "groundbreaking partnership" for RTD, as the agency explores innovative mobility options for public transportation, said RTD Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Dave Genova.
Dubbed 61AV, the route will serve people who park and live near the 61st and Pena station free of charge. The project's main goal is to assess the viability of autonomous services in providing first-and-last mile connections to and from transit systems, RTD officials said.
To learn more about first-and-last-mile transit services, read this article in Progressive Railroading's July 2018 issue.