The 16th Street Mall is a transit and pedestrian mall in Denver, CO that serves the surrounding area. The mall, which is 1.25 miles long and extends along 16th Street in the downtown Denver from Wewatta Street to the intersection of 16th Avenue and Broadway), is located in the heart of the city. It was built by architect I.M. Pei to replicate the scale pattern of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, which is represented by the intricate granite stone sidewalks and streets. The Denver Pavilions retail mall, as well as more than 300 stores and 50 restaurants, are located here.
The MallRide is a free shuttle bus service provided by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) that transports people between shopping centers. Buses make stops at each and every intersection along the way.
When the mall first opened its doors in 1982, the service was implemented. It was originally intended to run between Market Street Station (16th & Broadway) and Civic Center Station (16th & Broadway), two RTD bus hubs located at opposite ends of downtown. In 1994, light rail service was extended to the 16th and California and 16th and Stout stations, resulting in the creation of a third transit hub along the mall’s length. Market Street Station was demolished in May 2014 and replaced by the Union Station Transit Center, which opened in September 2014.
As of today, the route continues to serve as a vital link between the A and B lines, the C and E lines, the W line, and the underground bus concourse at Union Station, as well as the D and F lines, the H and L lines at 16th & California and 16th & Stout stations, and the underground bus concourse at Civic Center Station, as well as the bus concourse at Civic Center Station. The MallRide shuttle, according to RTD, eliminates roughly a thousand bus rides from the streets of downtown Denver each day, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality in the process.
As part of the building of the Union Station Transit Center, RTD launched the MetroRide service, which runs parallel to the MallRide on 18th and 19th Streets but is significantly faster due to the fact that it makes substantially fewer stops between Union Station and Civic Center Station than the MallRide.
A fleet of right-hand-drive buses that have been specifically planned and manufactured for the MallRide has been in operation since its inception. Having the buses driven in the right-hand direction allows the bus operators to get a better view of passengers entering and exiting the buses on the right-hand side as well as pedestrians who frequently ‘wander’ around the open mall and get close to the buses, which can travel up to 40 km/h.
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