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City to Begin Pilot Transportation Program for Downtown Workers

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The Savannah City Council voted today to test a downtown worker transportation program for a six-month trial period beginning early 2019.

The $294,000 contract to Downtowner, a Florida-based company, includes providing a free, on-demand transportation service geared toward residents who work at night in Savannah’s central business district and need safe, reliable transportation to and from their vehicles. The service is offered in multiple cities including Tampa Bay, Fl., and Aspen, Co.

The service is available to any person, but will be marketed primarily to downtown employees who work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. All rides will be scheduled through a mobile app similar to popular ride-share services such as Uber or Lyft.

The need for such a service for late-night downtown workers was identified by City Council during discussions of the Parking Matters study, which recommended extending meter enforcement into the evening, in addition to elimination of time limits and other changes intended to make parking more efficient downtown. The City also offers very low monthly rates in downtown garages for those who work at night -- $35 per month to park from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days per week in any City-owned garage.

City staff determined on-demand transportation would be cost-effective in comparison to extending bus shuttle hours past midnight. The downtown transportation program is funded using revenue from the Parking & Mobility Fund.

The pilot program will be evaluated after the six-month trial period to determine whether the service successfully addresses transportation disadvantages for late night downtown employees.

To find out more about parking options, go to www.savannahga.gov/parking.

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