Downtown Orlando May Get A New On-Demand, Eco-Friendly Shuttle Service

Downtown Orlando May Get A New On-Demand, Eco-Friendly Shuttle Service

Downtown Orlando is considering a new, eco-friendly on-demand shuttle service to enhance transit options and invigorate the downtown area.

City officials are planning a partnership with Circuit Transit, a micro-transit company, to launch the program. The initial phase will include five electric shuttles operating daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with rides costing just $1.

The proposed service, with an annual cost of $595,712, was discussed at a recent Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board (CRAAB) meeting. The board recommended approval, and the Orlando City Commission will vote on the proposal on June 10.

Advantages For Downtown Orlando

The shuttle service aims to improve transportation for residents and visitors, alleviate parking issues, draw more people to downtown Orlando, and support local businesses. By increasing accessibility, the service is expected to boost foot traffic and help struggling businesses.

This initiative comes at a crucial time. Recently, Hamburger Mary’s, a popular LGBTQ-owned restaurant, announced it would leave downtown. Moreover, new nightlife and parking restrictions have sparked varied reactions, with some bar and nightclub owners feeling the changes hurt their businesses.

Shuttle Service Downtown Orlando

Circuit Transit’s Track Record In Other Cities

Circuit Transit has successfully implemented similar shuttle programs in cities like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The West Palm Beach service, which started as a pilot in 2021, proved popular and was extended. It provided over 85,000 rides in its first year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating local jobs.

The proposed Orlando service will operate in a similar manner, accommodating up to five passengers per ride. Users can book rides through Circuit Transit’s mobile app, offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to traditional rideshares.

Shuttle Service Details

Unlike the city’s previous driverless shuttle program, these vehicles will have licensed human drivers. Circuit Transit will employ the drivers, paying them at least $15 per hour. This setup ensures the service is both user-friendly and beneficial to the local economy.

The city plans to start with a one-year term for the program, with options to renew for two additional years. If approved, the service could launch within 30 days of finalizing the agreement with Circuit Transit, potentially starting this fall.

This new shuttle service promises to enhance downtown Orlando with a convenient, eco-friendly transportation option, benefiting both residents and local businesses.

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