United by Mobility

Business

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY JAN 10, 2019

You’ll never be stranded or without wheels in Downtown Sarasota—Gotcha’s got ya—with its multimodal transportation firm headquartered in Charleston, SC. Newly branded from its former iRide service, Gotcha officially launches on the streets today. Owner Sean Flood started the original Gotcha 10 years ago at FSU as a student-based ride sharing amenity around campus. Flood believes that the fresh business model will have an overall positive response in Sarasota from all passenger demographics, because of its unbeatable price, convenience, dependability, safety and personable service.

Its 16 locally-based drivers are personally vetted and trained, and the cost will be a flat fee of $3 per ride, in and around a 2 mile radius of Downtown Sarasota/the Rosemary District. The new-age mobile service can be ordered via it’s user-friendly ride app or by “flag-down”, through a “cashless” transaction, accepting credit cards on the app, or the chip reader machine in the car if passengers hailed the ride from the street. “You’re paying for your particular seat in a defined area for a predetermined price,” he explains. “So the user can enjoy being in the vehicle, and not ever have to worry about surge pricing or anything like that. You’ll know that no matter what, you can get anywhere within this service area for three bucks.”

No longer cruising around in the iRide shuttles donning logos of paid advertisers, Flood had the seven vehicles revamped into 6-passenger, 100% electric roadsters, sporting its sleek black and teal color scheme and new logo. “We actually added some pretty cool things to it technology-wise too,” he adds. “We’ve got a battery system that allows them to go 100 miles per charge, and we’re the only company that has it, so it’ll be pretty cool to role that out in Sarasota.” Gotcha’s electric fleet will be offering free rides all day today, with Flood himself and the corporate team in Sarasota for the launch to get the name and brand out there, while educating passengers of the inauguration of Gotcha transportation.

“The industry as a whole is shifting and changing,” he says, noting Gotcha's growth to 50 different universities and cities throughout the country. “And we’ll continue to evolve the service based on demand.”

The city is currently encouraging passengers to use the micro-transit service, along with other modes of transportation, to promote sustainability, unclog the roads, reduce congestion and help commuters get to their destinations with ease. “There’s a real demand for it,” Flood said. “We’ve built a very loyal group of folks who utilize this type of reliable service around downtown. The ridership is very robust and this will give us the opportunity to continue to serve that.”

Gotcha rides will operate Sunday through Thursday, 11am-9pm, and Friday through Saturday, 11am-10pm. By continuing to collaborate with the city, Flood plans to evaluate and expand the program’s service area as it continues to grow—across the bridge to St. Armands Circle and out to the beaches. Also currently in the works, are possible plans of integrating Gotcha’s shared bike fleets and e-scooters in the future here as well.

Photo courtesy of the Gotcha Group.

Ride Gotcha.

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