Sarasota News Leader

03/07/2014

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Mass transit is always a thorny problem. The "transit" part must be realistic. Unless it is the last bus home, people do not want to wait very long. And the "mass" part is needed, because if only one person rides, the cost per passen- ger-mile is astronomical. For some time, the board members of t h e D o w n t o w n Improvement District ( D I D ) i n S a r a s o t a have considered the prospect of a "down- town circulator" to move visitors from their hotels to the restaurants and retail shops downtown. But costs were problematic. A bus disguised as a trolley was tried, but people did not want to wait half an hour for a ride. The people behind an entrepreneurial service — the Green Hopper — tried using six-person golf cars, with drivers living on tips. But breakdowns o f t h e e q u i p m e n t were troublesome. Now DID Operations Manager John Moran is looking at another system, using a more The six-passenger Green Hopper low-speed electric vehicle was tried a couple of years ago as a downtown circulator. Photo by Stan Zimmerman THE DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT HEARS DETAILS OF COSTS FOR YET ANOTHER MASS TRANSIT PROPOSAL SARASOTA SHUTTLE TALK CONTINUES The cost is getting within the realm of possibility. John Moran Operations Manager Downtown Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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