TAMPA, FL (October 29, 2018) – The Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner are pleased to celebrate the second anniversary of the micro-transit program operating in Tampa’s Special Services District. Since the program launched in October 2016, Downtowner vehicles moved over 369,000 passengers throughout Tampa’s Downtown, averaging 500 per day. Growing ridership in the first two years of the program led Downtowner to launch new tech advances and improve and increase its fleet of vehicles. Riders can expect year three to come with improvements as well.
“We’ll be introducing a new concept aimed at increasing efficiency and the rider experience,” said Travis Gleason, Co-Founder of Downtowner. “When requesting a ride, users may be directed to a nearby meeting point. This will allow us to more seamlessly pick up rides heading in the same direction.” Gleason continued, “We will be releasing more details in the coming months, so stay tuned!”
In 2017, Chevy Bolts were added to the fleet to replace aging and less energy efficient GEM cars. “Combo-ing” was also added to reduce wait times. In 2018, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) loaned four Model X Teslas to the fleet through the end of their lease in March 2019. To meet ADA needs, Downtowner also operates a 6-passenger Ford Transit Van.
Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, was key to bringing the ride service to Tampa’s Downtown in 2016 and keeping it running to-date.
“Tampa Downtown Partnership is committed to making Tampa’s Downtown a fun and exciting place to live work and play,” said Kress. “We understand that part of the experience is offering many choices to get around Downtown. 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 transportation option happen for our Downtown and look forward to it continually evolving.
“This service wouldn’t be possible without support from the public and private sector,” said Lynda Remund, Acting President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “It is truly a collaborative effort and weâre proud to have been the catalyst to provide a micro transit solution in our Downtown.”
Partners in local and state government were present at the press conference on October 29th including;
- Bob McDonaugh, Economic Opportunity Administrator, City of Tampa
- David Gwynn, District Secretary, FL Dept of Transportation
- Sandra Murman, Chair, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners
- Ruthie Reyes, Chief Operating Officer, HART
- Steven Murray, CEO, Downtowner
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: 100 N. Tampa, 501 E Kennedy, Bank of America Plaza, Barrymore Hotel, Embassy Suites, Hilton Downtown Tampa, Rivergate Tower, SunTrust Financial Center, Tampa Marriott Waterside, Two Harbour Place, University of Tampa.