Solutions to parking problems coming to downtown Tampa

Posted at 5:25 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 17:47:11-04
Parking can be an issue in downtown Tampa, especially when there are multiple events at one time. But creative solutions are coming-- the first in just a month from now.
"I have to account for probably at least an hour to figure out where to park," Yolanda Kerce said. 
Kerce drives into downtown Tampa to go to hockey games, museums and out to eat, but she said parking is always a problem. 
"There's usually a lot of circling around the location until I find somewhere to park.  It's pretty much a hassle," she said.
A hassle the city of Tampa, HART and the Tampa Downtown Partnership are hoping to ease.
In about a month, you'll see electric cars shuttling people to events downtown. 
"The whole concept of having people provide rides for others is changing," President/CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership Christine Burdick said. 
Up to ten cars, that seat five passenger plus a driver, will be on the road.
You'll use an app to order one and it's completely free. You're not allowed to tip. 
This fall, HART is also adding weekend hours for their "In-Towner" bus during big events, also free of charge.  Right now it only runs during rush hour, Monday through Friday.
"Instead of figuring out where they're going to park, it's going to be figuring out what alternatives and the different options that they have," Burdick said. 
HART is also talking to the city about running the trolley every ten minutes during event-time and even potentially making that service free, as well.
It's a change people who live downtown said could cut the weekend gridlock. 
"Nothing there's nothing available.  So it's almost the cars are tracking people walking down the street to the spot when they're leaving.  You have to time it perfectly," Bobby Soroory, who lives downtown, said. 
To Yolanda, these new options sound better than searching for a coveted spot. 
"The trolley or like electric car just kind of adds to the experience it makes it a little bit something different," she said.
Look for the electric shuttles in September.