Nothing is final yet, but if everything breaks right, John Moran believes there could be a new transit service running throughout downtown by next month.
The city is negotiating with The Gotcha Group, a Charleston, S.C.-based transportation company, to operate a fleet of downtown circulator vehicles. Moran, the operations manager of the Downtown Improvement District, said a contract could be finalized as soon as this week.
For a two-year period, the city would be responsible for funding the circulator vehicles, which would operate without a charge for riders. By year three, the Gotcha Group would depend on advertisements wrapped around the vehicles to fund and sustain the service.
“We’re essentially kick-starting a private venture,” Moran said.
Initially, the city began negotiations with a Delray Beach, Fla.-based service called The Downtowner. That company ultimately determined it wasn’t a good match for what the city was seeking, and city staff moved onto negotiations with its second choice, The Gotcha Group. The Gotcha Group primarily focuses on offering free rides to students on college campuses.
Any agreement is subject to final approval from the City Commission. Moran, who has been a leading advocate for creating a downtown circulator service for several years, said he hoped to get a contract on the commission’s agenda next month.
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