The free, popular electric-powered tuk-tuk circulator that carries revelers throughout the River North entertainment district north of downtown has expanded — with a new circulator roaming South Broadway.
The 13-week test run, using two vehicles, started last Thursday, when 36 people hopped on board.
The number of passengers catching a ride via the tuk-tuks is expected to rise as more people learn about the transportation alternative along the circulator’s stretch of South Broadway, said Walid Mourtada, CEO of eTuk Companies, a Denver-based manufacturer of the three-wheeled, all-electric, motorized rickshaws common in developing countries.
The open-air vehicles have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and can carry up to six people, plus the driver.
“People are always excited by these things, it’s a cool way to experience the city,” said Jordan Evans, who’s been driving eTuk’s vehicles for about two years.
The service will operate on Thursday nights between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. with five designated stops, including one at the Alameda Light Rail Station.
“Thursday is a pretty active night on Broadway,” Mourtada said, adding that more evenings can be added if the concept — and support — grows.
Plus, he said, “if it can be done on a Thursday, then we know it can be done on Friday and Saturday.”
A daytime tour of the circulator’s path is breezy and fun, with heads turning as it makes its way up Lincoln and down Broadway.
eTuk started manufacturing the vehicles in March 2015 and recently delivered its 81st vehicle to a customer, Mourtada said.
The electronic vehicles can be found trundling people or cargo — some companies use them as small, roaming food trucks. eTuk's vehicles can be found in 40 cities in 27 states plus Mexico and Canada, plus a few airports, he said.
The South Broadway circulator starts at the Alameda Light Rail Station and has four stops every few blocks along Broadway marked with “free shuttle” signs.
The circulator’s four stops are at 3rd Avenue and Broadway, Punch Bowl Social, at 65 Broadway, the Irish Rover Pub, at 54 S. Broadway, and Natural Grocers, at 368 S. Broadway.
The $5,000 cost of the pilot program is being shared by the sponsors: D4 Urban, a developer, Punch Bowl Social, Xcel Energy, New Amsterdam Organics and the office of Denver city Councilman Jolon Clark.
how you can go beyond the shuttle
Clark said the circulator has been two years in the making, and stems from his days campaigning in the neighborhoods and hearing people talk about how Broadway was starting to boom — but also bringing problems associated with parking and drunken driving.
“Broadway’s revitalization is great, but traffic and drunken driving and parking — they’re not great,” Clark said.
The circulator is a way to move people around the neighborhood — and let them leave their cars at home, he said.
For Xcel Energy Inc., sponsoring the tuk-tuk circulator is a way to boost awareness of electric vehicles for commercial use, said Eric Van Orden, who works on the utility’s renewable energy and electric vehicle programs.
Benjamin Bourque, the owner of New Amsterdam Organics, a marijuana dispensary a few blocks off Broadway, said he decided to help sponsor the circulator to be a part of the community and support its growth.
D4 Urban LLC, the developer of Denizen, a 275-unit apartment complex that opened in the former RTD parking lot at Alameda Station in 2015, decided to support the Broadway Circulator as an experiment and an amenity, said Dan Cohen, D4 Urban’s development manager.
“As a developer we’re interested in exploring transportation and testing options that may lead us to build less parking — because parking is expensive,” Cohen said.
The RiNo Circulator, which kicked off in January, has grown in popularity over the months. The circulator is sponsored by Drink RiNo, a collection of breweries, wineries and distilleries in the RiNo neighborhood.
The RiNo circulator started with two vehicles and a few dozen passengers.
These days the RiNo Circulator keeps three vehicles busy carrying up to 200 people every week. The circulator runs on First Fridays between 7 p.m. and midnight, and every Saturday between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Article was originally posted by the Denver Business Journal on July 18, 2017.
Written by Cathy Proctor. View the original article here.
About eTuk USA, LLC
Headquartered in Denver, CO eTuk USA manufactures 100% electric, eco-friendly tuk tuks to suit a variety of customer needs throughout the USA. The company’s electric vehicles are well suited for a variety of applications. eTuk USA licenses the design from their partner, The Tuk Tuk Factory, and is the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of the eTuk in the United States. Check out the company’s passenger eTuks for shuttle and tour operator applications or its commercial eTuks for vending, delivery, or food truck applications.
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