Hollywood Florida Sun Shuttle is all-electric
By Bryan Boggiano
Through a new pilot program, Coral Springs might give downtown a “Lyft.”
The city commission and Community Redevelopment Agency met Wednesday to discuss implementing a limited rideshare program that would provide free on-demand transportation to and from downtown Coral Springs, increase access to urban areas, and alleviate parking issues, according to the presentation.
“We’re looking at ways that we can get people into our downtown, frequent our businesses, spend their money here, and shop local,” said Alexander Falcone, director of emergency management, special events, and city security.
In their master plan, the CRA identified a goal to create a downtown community trolley. The program would meet the city’s goals of creating a thriving, resilient business community and an attractive community.
The proposed program comes as the city continues development on Cornerstone and City Village, also in the downtown area.
If approved, the rideshare program would be available for areas within the CRA area, which encompasses areas near downtown Coral Springs along Sample Road and University Drive.
To use the service, riders would need to download an app to travel anywhere within the CRA area on the vehicles, which could possibly be electric.
Coral Springs would pay about $31.68 per hour to operate two vehicles. The presentation states that similar programs cost other cities about $322,000 annually, while realized costs dropped to $100,000 and $0 for some programs.
Falcone emphasized that no money would come from the city’s general fund.
Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Hollywood, Islamorada, West Palm Beach, and Coral Gables have similar programs.
There are three possible funding models for the rideshare pilot. They include city funds and grants, the CRA allocating funds, and funding through advertisements and partnerships.
Before the official launch, the city will allocate $2,500 in CRA funding for ridesharing vehicles at the Mother’s Day Shopping event on May 1 and Bites and Sips on May 6.
According to Lynne Martzall, director of communications and marketing, the limited May launch will allow city officials to test the program before reaching out to vendors and possibly expanding rideshare services.
In June, city officials plan to issue a request for proposal and start evaluating providers to determine who would provide the best service.
If the city moves forward, they will consider providing $100,000 of CRA funding in the fiscal year 2023 for the pilot program’s first year. If approved, the program will launch in Fall 2022.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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