In a triumph of local collaboration, the RTD Partnership Program announced this week that it has selected the City of Boulder’s Gunbarrel Shuttle application for funding. The program will provide $650,000 over three years to fund the development of the Gunbarrel Shuttle, providing a much-needed first- and last-mile solution for workers and residents in Boulder’s northernmost neighborhood.
The Gunbarrel Shuttle has been a key initiative of the Boulder Together program, through which the Boulder Chamber convened conversations among Boulder Transportation Connections, the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and RTD over more than three years of planning. This innovative collaborative approach resulted in a robust application, giving the Gunbarrel Shuttle project a clear directive for bridging transit gaps in the area.
RTD selected eight community mobility projects to receive a total of $2 million per year from 2024 to 2026 around the region. See the full list of funded projects and learn more about the RTD Partnership Program by going to its website here.
After RTD’s announcement of the awards, Aisha Ozaslan from the City of Boulder sent out a press release with more information about the Gunbarrel Shuttle process and vision:
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has awarded the City of Boulder $650,000 toward starting a flex route, on-demand transit service in the Gunbarrel area. Beginning in 2024, the service will provide transit connections in this key employment and housing area and serve to provide first- and last-mile travel options for community members taking transit.
Funds will be provided from 2024-2026, over which time the city will manage contracted operations and evaluate the Gunbarrel transit service. Funds toward marketing and outreach are also provided generously by the Boulder Chamber/Boulder Transportation Connections (BTC) and a private developer. The flex route will serve a 4.4-square mile area in Gunbarrel and unincorporated Boulder County, providing connections to local and regional routes, including the RTD #205, BOLT and CO 119 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service scheduled to begin in 2026.
“We are incredibly grateful to RTD and our local partners for their commitment to supporting local transit in Boulder,” said City of Boulder Transportation and Mobility Director Natalie Stiffler. “Providing convenient travel choices to our community is one of our priorities and it is through collaborative funding partnerships like this that we’ll be able to continue to expand options throughout our community. This award provides the funds to make this new and improved service to Gunbarrel possible.”
Karen Worminghaus, Senior Manager of Transportation at the Boulder Chamber and BTC, echoed Director Stiffler’s comments, “This microtransit project is a true public-private partnership and will provide a critical first- and last-mile connection to over 9,800 employees and 11,500 residents in the Gunbarrel area. We applaud RTD on their innovative, collaborative approach to addressing local transit needs, as exemplified through their new Partnership Program.”
The City of Boulder has been working with partners including RTD, Boulder Chamber/BTC, and Boulder County for over two years to design a flex transit service that expands transit access and coverage in the Gunbarrel area for residents, visitors, and employees alike. The flexible, on-demand service is a recommended strategy in Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan and in the CO 119 First and Final Mile Study.
RTD’s partnership and associated funding support city goals toward making travel more comfortable and convenient for the Boulder community. Learn more about the award on RTD’s Partnership Program webpage.