"These businesses now value the role of public transit in the economic vitality of the downtown area," Karalekas says. There are even similar partnerships in discussion for other areas of the city. This lunchtime shuttle has strengthened the image of the agency and public transportation. "It enhances the "In-Town" family of services, the downtown network that includes the In-Town Trolley routes, the TECO Line Streetcar System and HART buses, and it helps build ridership," she explains.
As for the improved image of HART by the business district, Karalekas summarizes, "The Channelside lunchtime shuttle has provided leverage and elevated respect for HART by the downtown Tampa and Channelside businesses, providng an opportunity for HART to be at the table and to be considered a force in the economic development of this new entertainment district."
Finding the Fit
With each agency having its own structure and unique demographics, different offerings work better in different locales. As these examples illustrate, looking for potential partners or identifying events are two places to start with your planning.