The Solar Shuttle
February 6, 2014
I saw an article about a new solar powered bus system that was recently deployed in Adelaide, Australia and I immediately thought that this would be perfect in Pueblo.
What a great way to communicate to the world that Pueblo has abundant solar energy. Come to Pueblo and ride The Solar Shuttle!
I think it would make an excellent investment with funds produced by the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority’s proposed BID program. Or better yet, we could use funds collected from a toll plaza on Highway 50! I’m imagining a simple bus route (that could also serve as a connector for other bus routes) that, at a nominal cost to passengers (perhaps $1 for a day pass and $20 for an annual pass?), moves people from the Pueblo County Courthouse (or Parkview, Mineral Palace or thereabouts) to the Mesa Junction (near the Pueblo Library or further to the Pueblo Community Health Center) and back via downtown (with an obligatory stop at Solar Roast of course) and Union Ave. See quick and dirty highlighted route below.
Maybe we could get 2 buses running constantly so that people could ride all over downtown without needing to wait more than 10-15 minutes to catch the next shuttle. This would be a nice convenience for residents who want to shop downtown, on Union or in the Mesa Junction but don’t want to deal with sparse parking (or the dangerous pedestrian crossing and parking situation on Abriendo).
This would benefit all downtown business owners, employees who work downtown, residents who live downtown, elderly citizens who no longer want to or are unable to drive. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to spend money on a service that would allow people to function without the expense and hassle of automobile ownership? I’m willing to bet that housing values within walking distance from such a bus route would increase sharply. And, by the way, that’s the correct way to grow the local property tax base rather than building newly constructed car dependent communities in the middle of nowhere.
Just a thought.
[Next day] So, it was pointed out to me by NYS Dept. of Transportation GIS analyst and geographer, Rich Quodomine, that these buses are super expensive ($500k) and are built outside the US so won’t qualify for FTA grant funds. But, have no fear, I found a more reliable and convenient transportation option that I like even better! Check out the new and improved Solar Shuttle!