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Ocala
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Ocala Main Street staff discuss possibility of Downtown Ocala shuttle service

During an Economic Vitality meeting of the Ocala Main Street on Wednesday, members and residents discussed the possibility of providing a service that will trolly/taxi local residents between various points around Downtown and locations like the Reilly Arts Center, Tuskawilla Park, and the Ocala Regional Medical Center.

The idea is very much in its preliminary stages, and there are no specific details of how the service would function. It is possible that the cart would operate like a local shuttle, with point-to-point transportation on a regular basis between pre-designated points.

The hours of operation, staffing, and routes are all questions that members of Ocala Main Street hope to answer in the coming months.

Staff indicated that if the service did come to fruition, it would likely be free and that the cost of operating the vehicles would ideally be offset by opportunities to advertise. The carts could potentially be outfitted with vinyl wraps or panels to showcase local businesses on a regular basis.

The type of carts staff has in mind for the service are Polaris GEM Electric carts. These carts are similar to enclosed golf carts and would include four to six seats. They are street legal, fully enclosed, and air conditioned, and could potentially be solar powered.

The next steps in the process will be to sit down with city officials and work out the details of this potential service, which likely wouldn’t be available for many months.

Do you think that Downtown Ocala would benefit from a shuttle service? Share your opinions with us in a comment below, through a letter to the editor, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.