With DASH, Tampa tries again with low-cost downtown ride service

DASH concept image // Credit Tampa Downtown Partnership



The Tampa Downtown Partnership announced a new ride service coming to downtown Tampa. This announcement comes a couple of years after their former one was shuttered due to funding issues.

The service is called DASH, and will drive passengers around downtown in bright yellow Teslas. Shaun Drinkard is the interim president for the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

“It’s not just a transit option, it’s not just a way to explore downtown, but I think the experience of the vehicle along with the staffing, I think will be a really fun, exciting experience.”

He says DASH will be different from their last project, the Downtowner. It was a service similar to Uber that also used electric cars to get commuters point to point downtown. It ended April 2021 due to a lack of funding.

“In its initial concept with the downtowner, it took a multitude of funding pieces to make sure that it was sustainable. What we’re kicking off with Dash is 100% funded by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and revenue sources we already have in house.”

The Downtowner was “door-to-door” and fares were free, and later raised to a dollar. DASH will have fees similar to a bus fare, and will also drop riders off at 20 “hubs” around downtown.

Drinkard says there were lessons learned from the Downtowner, and is optimistic about DASH.

“Whether you’re living, working or visiting, or learning in downtown, once you arrive in downtown, there’s not that need to get back into your vehicle to find another parking option, you can explore the seven neighborhoods and do it through the DASH program.”

The new service is set to offer its first rides in October. Interested drivers can apply starting August 1st  at tampasdowntown.com

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