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i-Ride Sarasota
Sarasota Friday, Mar. 24, 2017 5 years ago

Downtown shuttle gets name, start date

i-Ride Sarasota, a free on-demand downtown transportation service, will begin operations March 28.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Beginning next week, visitors will be able to get around downtown with the aid of a new transit service called i-Ride Sarasota.

The city announced today that i-Ride Sarasota will begin operations Wednesday, March 29. The service will offer free rides that users can access via an app, telephone number or by hailing down a vehicle on the street.

In February, the city agreed to commit up to $338,747.50 to subsidize the private service in its first two years. The Gotcha Group, a Charleston, S.C.,-based company, will operate the transit service. The company will sell advertising on the sides of vehicles, with the goal of becoming self-sustaining once the subsidy runs out.

The service includes a fleet of seven six-seat electric vehicles. The boundaries of the service are 14th Street, School Avenue, Mound Street and the bayfront. Vehicles will operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

“Our experience in other densely-populated communities with parking and transportation challenges is a perfect fit,” Gotcha Group CEO Sean Flood said in a statement. “We look forward to making a positive impact on residents, businesses and visitors.”

To request a ride via your smartphone, download the Gotcha Ride app. To call for a ride, dial 941-444-2585.

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