Free ride service has served over 86,000 passengers in the first six months of operation
TAMPA (April 21, 2017) – When Tampa Downtown Partnership launched the free ride service Downtowner six months ago, Greg Minder, Chair of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, knew it would provide a valuable service to residents, the downtown workforce, and visitors.
“When Downtowner was launched on October 20 we knew it would serve a circulation and last-mile need for everyone Downtown,” said Minder. “What we couldn’t anticipate was the rate at which it would be adopted.”
According to the 2016 Biennial Survey of Downtown workers and residents by Tampa Downtown Partnership and HCP, 25 percent of those surveyed had used the Downtowner as a mode to get around Downtown Tampa and rated the service with a 96 percent satisfaction ranking.
At the six-month mark, Downtowner and Tampa Downtown Partnership report serving 86,146 passengers with 101,192 miles logged. Because Downtowner vehicles are 100 percent electric, the miles driven equate to 41 tons of CO2 that were eliminated from Tampa’s air supply. NovaCharge NC-500, the chargers that power the vehicles, charge approximately 96 hours a day, collectively, to keep the vehicles on the road.
Given its popularity, many groups are curious about the future of the free ride service. “We’ve received several inquiries from local organizations looking to support Downtowner through advertisements on and in the vehicles,” said Karen Kress, AICP, Director of Transportation and Planning at Tampa Downtown Partnership. “We are actively looking for ways to enhance service in year two and for long-term stability,” said Kress. “When we see that the Marion Transit Center is a top drop-off location, second only to the University of Tampa, it truly tells a story of how this service is providing a first and last mile solution.”
A graduate of the University of Tampa, Downtowner CEO Stephen Murray is thrilled his company has become a major way for people to move around the city.
“I wanted to be part of Downtown Tampa’s growing and thriving community and we’re excited to look into the future of mobility alongside Tampa,” said Murray. At 16,905 rider accounts on the app and 86,146 passengers within six months, Downtowner has made a significant impact on how residents, workers, and residents get around Downtown.
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, SPP/Lightning, Marriott Waterside, Hilton Tampa Downtown, Barrymore Riverwalk Hotel, Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown, Le Méridian Tampa, Park Tower, Bank of America Plaza, Tampa City Center, Franklin Exchange, Rivergate Tower, 100 N Tampa, Fifth Third Center, SunTrust Financial Center, Two Harbour Place.
About 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.