Debuting soon on the streets of Tampa: bright yellow Tesla SUVs, available for rides around downtown at $2 a person.
Officials announced this summer the new rideshare service dubbed Dash. It is a fleet of six all-electric vehicles that will use a mobile app to pick up riders at hubs around the city and ferry them to lunches, meetings, parks and events. This week, the Tampa Downtown Partnership announced the rideshare’s $2 fare and its hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Riders will get picked up at more than 20 hubs scattered around downtown, though the locations of those hubs was not announced. The service will be available sometime in mid-October, according to a news release, with the date to be announced soon.
“We wanted to make sure this new way to get around downtown is just as distinctive as the other transportation options it’ll be joining,” Shaun Drinkard, interim president of the partnership, said in the release. “When you think about the streetcar with its classic look, or a colorful e-bike or scooter, or the swords on the side of the Pirate Water Taxi, we know Dash’s bright yellow Teslas will be a great addition.”
The Dash app will pair up to four passengers to share a trip, according to the release. They’ll be driven by what the partnership calls “driver-ambassadors” trained as downtown guides.
Tampa previously had a free rideshare service called the Downtowner, which grew so popular in a parking-challenged downtown that 500 riders used it daily and wait times could stretch to 45 minutes or more. That program ran out of funding in 2021.
Officials hope to avoid those glitches by using strategically placed hubs instead of door-to-door service. Dash will be funded through the budget of the partnership, the nonprofit that manages the downtown district through an agreement with the city, and through fares.
Dash will travel downtown’s seven neighborhoods — the Downtown River Arts Neighborhood Association, Downtown Core, Channel District, Water Street, Encore, West River and Tampa Heights.