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TAMPA (August 2, 2017) – Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner announce the addition of two new Chevy Bolts to the 12-vehicle fleet of GEM cars. The vehicles hit the roads of Downtown Tampa at 11:30am on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
“With the quick adoption of the app-based service and growing ridership, it was clear to us that the fleet needed to expand if it was going to keep up with the first-mile, last-mile demand,” said Christine Burdick, CEO and President of Tampa Downtown Partnership.
The Bolt was released by Chevy earlier this year and like the GEM car, is 100% electric. “Adding these vehicles to the fleet will reduce wait times, support increasing ridership demand and provide riders with protection from the Florida heat via air conditioning”, said Travis Gleason, COO for Downtowner. “The Chevy Bolts are able to run over 200 miles per charge allowing us to utilize the vehicle for the entirety of the day with no down-time,” said Gleason. “Our company is dedicated to evolving with battery technology, and the Chevy Bolt’s range allows us to move more people with less resources.” The service was originally launched using GEM cars, capable of traveling about 60 miles per charge before having to be pulled out of rotation for charging. Like the GEM cars, the Bolts will be hailed through the app. There is no way to reserve a specific car or driver as the app selects the shortest wait time for riders.
This app-based, on-demand free ride service is the first of its kind in Downtown Tampa, reaching over 100,000 riders in just under seven months of its launch date. According to Stephen Murray, CEO of Downtowner, Tampa is their largest market.
“Ridership in Downtown Tampa has definitely taken off quickly. We continue to see ridership demand grow, especially during commuter hours, and we’re excited to be a part of Tampa’s transit options,” said Murray. “The collaboration with the Tampa Downtown Partnership was pivotal to seeing this project happen, and with their support, our service has lead to less dependence on single-occupancy vehicle trips, as well as greater accessibility to existing HART services.”
Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning at Tampa Downtown Partnership, headed up the initiative to bring the free ride service to Downtown. “Our goal is to secure long-term stability for the service. Our growing ridership has proven that there is a willingness to think outside of the car, especially for short trips. Downtown Tampa’s residents, workers and visitors are increasingly looking for ways to park their car once, and have options for those short trips. I’m excited to see how this service evolves,” said Kress.
Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner invite local companies to consider the opportunity to brand a vehicle. Funds raised from these advertising campaigns will help support the service. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Downtowner vehicles serve 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. See the service map here.
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, the Partnership serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, public space activation, planning and beautification.
About Downtowner Downtowner uses predictive routing technology and real-time demand analytics to deploy smarter transit in dense downtown areas. The company provides cities with a mirco-transit solution that bridges gaps in existing transit lines, eases parking demands, and improves overall mobility. Downtowner currently operates in 5 cities nationwide and uses 100% electric vehicles.