Service Includes El Porto, The Pier And May Cut Into Uber & Lift
The city has launched Downtowner, a small fleet of electric vehicles that is providing free rides in this Los Angeles seaside city.
Yes, it’s free. All you do tip the driver. And you might be sharing the vehicle. Which, in the socially-friendly South Bay, is fine and you may even meet some new friends.
You can’t flag down the Downtowner; rather like Uber or Lyft, you use its app to call it. Go to the App Store and search Downtowner, download and create a free account.
The Downtowner covers an area from what it defines at El Porto – PubClub.com needs to get further definition of this because it could be anywhere from Rosecrans to 45th Street – to 1st Street, and inland from the pier to Pacific Ave. PubClub did learn the vehicles cannot accommodate bicycles.
It does not go into Hermosa Beach.
The hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. This means locals can use it for a free ride to and from Taco Tuesday at OB’s, for Wednesday burger night at Ercoles and some of the top events such as Hometown Fair, assuming it’s still around in October. There’s a six-month trial period, which started Feb. 1., which takes it at least thru July.
So what’s the catch? Well, the vehicles are wrapped with advertising which makes them rolling billboards, and riders will be exposed to advertising when seated. Of course, most people in Manhattan Beach have been in cabs in Las Vegas, which bombards them with ads. And those rides are not free.
How this affects Uber and Lyft remains to be seen. Rides this distance on those ride sharing services are about what you may tip the Downtown driver.
Downtowner already exists in other cities: Newport Beach, Aspen, Tampa and Delray Beach, FL. To use it, you must download its app at: ridedowntowner.com.