The Downtowner

Hitching a free ride into downtown Manhattan Beach proves both eco-friendly and cost-efficient

Written by Joclene Davey | Photos Courtesy of The Downtowner

Hitting downtown Manhattan Beach for a day of shopping or night on the town has never been easier or more cost-efficient.

The Downtowner shuttle service offers those who need a lift free, on-demand rides into downtown Manhattan Beach. Not only is Downtowner a fun and fast service, its eco-friendly vehicles are 100-percent electric, too. Moreover, the mobile app technology it utilizes makes it easy to transport people all across town. “Our team looks to minimize parking congestion and environmental pollutants in dense areas like the [B]each [C]ities,” shares Jake Allsop, co-founder of Downtowner.

A Manhattan Beach resident, Allsop understands this congestion issue firsthand—and so does Downtowner’s locally-based drivers, also known as “city ambassadors,” employed to provide what the company calls the “X‑Factor” that keeps residents and visitors coming back. These drivers are engaging and in-the-know about what is happening all around the city. Since its March 2017 launch, Downtowner has given 15,500 people rides, shuttling guests seven days a week, from 11a.m. to 11p.m., in an area from 1st street at the Manhattan/Hermosa border to 45th Street in El Porto, and as far east as Pacific Street from the Pacific Ocean.

To order a ride, simply download the free Downtowner app in the iPhone or Android app store, set up a quick rider profile and start requesting rides. All rides are free, but remember, drivers work on tips. (One may also tip drivers via a credit or debit card

added to the app) Traveling with a big group is easy too, with each of the six cars accommodating up to five passengers. The City of Manhattan Beach’s Economic Vitality Manager Andy Sywak also helped bring Downtowner to the community. “The Downtown Association had craved a mobility effort for a long time, and it’s worked out really well. The service has been very successful and has allowed for more cross town travel among residence and visitors,” shares Sywak. Combined, the five locations of Downtowner operations—Manhattan Beach (which is looking to expand its service); Newport Beach; Aspen, CO; Tampa Bay, FL and Delray Beach, FL—has provided over 500,000 people rides and logged 750,000 miles, and there’s no end in sight, either. Downtowner’s philosophy to provide safe rides, ease congestion and increase value in a fun and modern way is intrinsic to that of a community that’s clearly along for the ride.

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