Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine

FL: Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine Launches Pilot 30A Transportation Program

On May 24, Scenic Hwy 30A in South Walton County, Fla., welcomed the Sunshine Turtle Express.

Free to the public, this pilot transportation program is privately funded by local business leaders dedicated to changing the carcentric culture of the area. John Finch, owner of Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., sees this as a jumping off point to expanding public transportation county line to county line, one Turtle Express step at a time.

“We can no longer stick our heads in the sand and hope the traffic conditions get better. As the TDC has reported, a trolley service is no. 4 on the list of what the public would like to see implemented in South Walton County,” Finch said. “The leaders we’ve worked with know that by investing in a system that will benefit everybody, not just their businesses, everyone will see positive change.”

Those leaders include:
• Robert Davis & Pam Avera, Town of Seaside
• Jay Odom, Crystal Beach Development
• Johnny Earles, Grayton Bar & Grill
• Chip Haring & George Hartley, V Seagrove Restaurant
• Grant Blackwell & Billy Buzzett, Grayton Beach Neighborhood Association
• Skip & Victoria Moore, 723 Whiskey Bravo
• Jane & Marie Solomon, 850 Properties
• Joel Williams, The Bowery on 30a
• Harriet Crommelin, Café Thiry-A

“We felt it was important to invest in the future of transportation along 30A,” Pam Avera of Seaside said. “We hope this pilot program will be a catalyst in furthering support of public transportation to benefit both visitors and locals. Cars should become the second, if not third, form of transportation on 30A; not the first.”

Once known as the 30A Trolley, this fabled program has long been discussed in South Walton. Finch and Alan Roberts, VP of sales and marketing, sought funding from several sources. In the end, a private system was not only expedient, but also collaborative.

“I think what the Sunshine did was the best option. Bringing every seemingly competitive business together for the greater good took a lot of persistence,” said Grant Blackwell, president. of the Grayton Beach Neighborhood Association. “And as they’ve shown with an identical program at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, unified funding works. The route will grow when business owners see the benefit of having customers dropped off at their front doors.”