City leaders will consider today whether to award a contract to electric shuttle vendor Gotcha Ride to offer free rides around the downtown area. The service would include seven six-seat electric shuttles that can be hailed on a mobile app to ferry residents, visitors and workers around downtown without moving their cars. If approved, Gotcha Ride could be running by the end of April, City Manager Tom Barwin said in his weekly newsletter. The free shuttles have been pitched as one of city leaders’ creative solutions, along with “road diets” and a water taxi service, that could reduce traffic congestion in and through downtown. Downtown Improvement District operations manager John Moran and Planner Steve Stancel introduced the idea last summer and have negotiated a proposed agreement to launch a two-year pilot program with the company. The city would contribute $339,000 to the project, between monthly reimbursements for the operation and for the purchase of one handicap-accessible shuttle, according city documents.
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