Private company plans to add electric cart service in downtown Sarasota

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- An electric cart shuttle service may be coming to downtown Sarasota by the end of this year. The route for the free carts, working off tips, would circulate from upper Main Street by the movie theater to lower main, and up towards the Ritz Carlton and Boulevard of the Arts.

The ten carts would continuously run for twelve hours, from 11am to 11pm. The manufacturer for the batteries of these carts is the same type of battery Disney World uses to power their parade floats -- batteries that are both solar and lithium ion.

Overall the goal is ease of transportation for downtown visitors. “What we want to do is get people from the region, knowing they just can get to a parking garage where they know there will be a parking space, and then they just wait five minutes, they'll be picked up and go where they want to go,” says John Moran, operations manager of D.I.D.

“I think it's a great idea for this city. It's a great way to get everybody from all of these hotels and the parking garages to pick these people up and bring them up and down Main Street,” says D.I.D. chairman Ernest Ritz.

This is not a city operation but rather a private and publicly funded project. If all goes well, Moran says these carts could be up and running in November.