Test Drive: Selene dashes around downtown
👋 Selene here.
Flashback: I enjoyed using the Downtowner as a University of Tampa student.
- I moved back home to Maryland before the program upgraded to EVs and it was discontinued just as I moved back to the area.
State of play: I took a ride around the city on Thursday morning and was impressed.
- The Tesla experience is way swankier than the covered Downtowner carts.
- Riding electric scooters feels like asking for a brain injury to me. While the e-bikes are easier to ride, they're heavy and I always have issues navigating to the designated parking spots.
How it compares: DASH's flat $2 fee is pretty much unbeatable unless you're taking HART, which isn't always accessible.
- An Uber from UT to Bell Channelside (where I often visited friends) would be $8.92 around 2:30pm. The shared option was estimated at $6-8.67.
- A Lyft would be around $7-10 depending on how long I was willing to wait. Plus, Lyft and Uber drivers accept tips, which DASH drivers don't (they're paid around $15/hr).
- A Lime e-bike was estimated at $4-7. A Lyft scooter would be $9.33.
- If you're paying for street parking, you're likely to top $2 within a couple of hours. And good luck finding it in busy locations and times of day.
Yes, but: With DASH, you'll still need to walk to and from hubs. That was only a couple blocks each way for me — way less time outside than being on a scooter or e-bike.
- But it still makes weather a factor to consider.
FYI: DASH operates Mon-Sat, 9am-11pm and Sunday, 12pm-9pm.
- Service doesn't run on the usual holidays that businesses are closed such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. You also can't depend on it for Gasparilla.
- There is a rating system, like Uber and Lyft have. So don't act out.
- If you miss your ride after five minutes, you'll still be charged the $2 fee.
The bottom line: DASH is cheap, fairly accessible and fancy. I'm excited to see how it develops.
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