Nov 3, 2023 - News

Test Drive: Selene dashes around downtown

Selene sits in the front passenger seat and looks at her DASH driver while he talks

DASH driver Michael Harley shows Selene the downtown hubs. Photo: Courtesy of Grayson Kamm

πŸ‘‹ 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 β€” 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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