Tags: Faculty, McAndrews, Schroeppel, Transportation
June 30, 2015
Denver, CO – The tuk-tuk, the three-wheeled motorized public transport vehicle common on the streets of Asia, has arrived in the Mile High City, thanks to a Denver-based startup and with a little help from the MURP program. Denver is the first US city offering an all-electric tuk-tuk vehicle to the general public as part of its Downtown mobility options.
eTuk Denver and eTuk USA are the Colorado companies that recently brought the tuk-tuk to the United States. eTuk Denver operates the eTuk service in Downtown Denver, while eTuk USA is the manufacturer that is marketing eTuk vehicles to cities and businesses nationwide. Currently, the eTuk is available for hire in Downtwon Denver by either hailing it on the street or calling to arrange for a ride. An eTuk app will be available soon. The company also hopes to offer in the future fixed-route services connecting Downtown’s transit hubs with sites such as the convention center, museum district, and other popular Downtown destinations.
Why the eTuk? According to the company’s website… “Designed on the principles of making the world a cleaner and greener place, we connect environmentally conscious vehicles to our local community that live, work and play in Denver. eTuk Denver is a unique, eco-friendly, fun experience that is also an affordable and predictable way to complete the ‘last mile’ or provide a short shuttle ride throughout the greater downtown Denver area.”
During the company’s development phase, eTuk’s business partners sought the counsel of the MURP program’s Ken Schroeppel, who provided them with planning advice and perspectives on Downtown Denver’s transportation needs and challenges. Also at that time, MURP student (now alumnus) Jonathan Woodward completed a semester-long Independent Study for the company that evaluated Downtown Denver planning issues, surveyed various transportation laws and regulations, gathered best practices from other countries with tuk-tuks, and assisted the company with other due diligence tasks.
With the recent launch of eTuk Denver, another MURP faculty member, Carey McAndrews, who specializes in sustainable transportation policy and design, providing her insight on the eTuk’s role in urban transport to the Washington Post, Colorado Public Radio, and the Denver Post.
Our engagement with eTuk Denver demonstrates the MURP program’s commitment to real-world experiential learning for our students and to making positive change in our community!