DENVER — A new way to get around Denver's Montbello neighborhood is now a reality.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure unveiled Montbello Connector on Saturday at the Montbello Recreation Center.
"This is a groundbreaking opportunity. We are creating greater mobility, and we are combating climate change at the same time," Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.
The pilot program, using three vehicles, will get people to and from their destinations within Montbello, including the Peoria station, like Uber and Lyft do — except Montbello Connector is free.
"We looked at different neighborhoods, and we felt that this service could fill a need in the neighborhood," Nancy Kuhn, DOTI's director of public information, said. "We have folks in the neighborhood who are a little bit older who we think could benefit from the service [and] get a ride to maybe medical appointments or their local store."
Pam Jiner, executive director of Montbell Walks, says the response from the senior community has been really positive.
"It's a necessary service that we need in our community, especially since we are a veteran community," she said.
The service is available for use Monday-Friday, from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., only within Montbello, a neighborhood Jiner says is often left behind.
"It makes us feel good," she said. "We kept our mouths going. We were just complaining and just trying to get some decent service."
The program will last for at least a year, Kuhn says, at which point DOTI will evaluate its success and determine whether to expand it to other neighborhoods in need of service.