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 we’re 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.
Then Chairman of Tampa Downtown Partnership, Greg Minder, at the 2016 launch of the Downtowner ride service at Grand Central at Kennedy
Karen Kress presents the 100,000th Downtowner rider with a gift basket.
One-year anniversary celebration with the announcement of the addition of the Chevy Bolt to the Downtowner fleet. The combo-ing feature was also announced.
A wrapped Downtowner Tesla Model X shows off its door feature. Four Teslas were added to the fleet in August 2018.
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.
Downtowner uses predictive routing technology and real-time demand analytics to deploy smarter transit in dense downtown areas. The company provides cities with a micro-transit solution that bridges gaps in existing transit lines, eases parking demands, and improves overall mobility.