RTD commissioned a new fleet of 16th Street Mall buses. They’re electric. They’re red.

CHLOE
RTD commissioned new MallRide buses. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

RTD commissioned new MallRide buses. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

RTD plans to replace the buses that provide free rides along the 16th Street Mall by late fall with an all-electric fleet that’s so quiet they’ll need extra noisemakers to give pedestrians a heads-up.

The 36-bus fleet will be firehouse-red in front and blue in back with a capacity for 106 passengers. New features include air conditioning, luggage racks and low floors throughout. There will also be a new set of cameras on the exterior of the bus as an additional safety precaution.

RTD commissioned new MallRide buses. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

RTD commissioned new MallRide buses. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

The buses are battery-powered and fully electric, through a $27 million contract with BYD Motors. The electric feature produces about half the noise of a diesel bus. So they’re quiet — so quiet, in fact, that RTD will be testing noisemakers on the pilot bus to ensure pedestrian safety.

The old fleet of buses has seen better days. RTD spokeswoman Julia Marvin said they are 16 years old and have all logged about 200,000 miles.

“When you think that 16th Street Mall is only about a mile, that’s a lot of trips,” she said.

The pilot bus is still in testing, but RTD hopes to roll it out within four to six weeks, and aims to have all 36 in service by late fall. 

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.

Hi! You’re like us!

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.