HART Provides Four Teslas to Downtowner Ride Service in Tampa’s Downtown
TAMPA (August 17, 2018) – Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner are excited to announce that tomorrow, Saturday, August 18, four Model X Teslas will join the fleet in Tampa’s Downtown. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is transferring the Teslas from another service area. The Teslas will replace the electric six-seater GEM cars.
“We’re thrilled to have HART’s support and look forward to working more closely with them in the future,” said Lynda Remund, Acting President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “With the support of all our wonderful public and private partnerships the Downtowner ride service was able to come to Tampa and change the way people think about getting around Downtown. Downtowner’s success is truly a collaborative effort and we’re proud to have been the catalyst to provide a micro transit solution in our Downtown.”
“HART is pleased to partner with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner on expanding the capacity of service and providing greater mobility in the downtown core,â said Jeff Seward, Interim CEO for HART. “The Downtowner service is an excellent first mile, last mile option for downtown workers and HART customers connecting to the transit network at Marion Transit Center.”
The Teslas will run in rotation with the two Chevy Bolts that were added last August. Vehicle selection is determined by proximity and availability.
“Our all-electric Chevy Bolts are completing more rides per hour than the GEM vehicles, and have received very positive rider feedback. We’re looking forward to increasing the level of efficiency in the rest of our fleet with the addition of the Teslas,” said Travis Gleason, Co-founder of Downtowner.
Downtowner will also be adding a new shuttle van within the next few weeks. “We’re excited about this vehicle because it will offer a larger seating capacity for increased carpooling, and is also ADA accessible,” said Gleason. He added, “Although we’ll be introducing some new vehicle types, we plan to remain dog friendly!”
The app-based, on-demand ride service is the first of its kind in Downtown Tampa, moving over 336,521 riders since it launched in October 2016. Growing ridership in the first year of the program lead Downtowner to launch new tech advances and increase its fleet of vehicles.
In celebration of a full year of service in October 2017, Downtowner announced the addition of a new shared ride feature that groups riders, traveling along similar paths, into the same vehicle. The feature has helped cut wait times and increase ridership capacity, with 24% of rides now being shared.
“Much of what we’ve been focusing on is increasing the amount of shared rides we provide. We’re aiming to go live with some additional carpooling features later this fall. Stay tuned for more details,” said Gleason.
In total, Downtowner vehicles have traveled more than 436,000 miles helping to avoid 174 tons of CO2 emissions.
“Tampa Downtown Partnership is committed to making Tampa’s Downtown a fun and exciting place to live work and play. We understand that part of the experience is offering many choices to get around Downtown,” said Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning for the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “This micro-transit service compliments the other options such as ride-sharing, biking, walking, and taking the streetcar or city bus.” Kress continued, “We’re proud of our involvement in making this option happen for our Downtown and look forward to seeing how it will evolve.”
The service is made possible through the generous support from both the public and private sector. The City of Tampa’s Downtown and Channel District Community Redevelopment Areas have been key partners. Others include: FL Department of Transportation, Marriott Waterside, Hilton Tampa Downtown, Aloft, Barrymore Riverwalk Hotel, Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown, Le Meridian Tampa, Park Tower, Bank of America Plaza, Tampa City Center, Franklin Exchange, Rivergate Tower, 100 North Tampa, Fifth Third Center, SunTrust Financial Center, Two Harbour Place, and the University of Tampa.
Downtowner vehicles run within the Special Service District (SSD) of Downtown Tampa. Service hours are 6am to 11pm, Monday through Friday and 11am to 11pm on the weekends.
About the Tampa Downtown Partnership Tampa Downtown Partnership is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)(6) comprised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, Tampa Downtown Partnership administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, Tampa Downtown Partnership serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, public space activation, planning and beautification.
About Downtowner Downtowner designs and deploys smarter transit. We partner with public and private communities to re-imagine transportation, providing both in house technology and operational expertise. With a focus on data and resource optimization, we move people.