Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. - A local company is taking the traffic problem in South Walton into their own hands. An iconic new way for tourists to travel was proposed to county commissioners, but ended up tabled for the 2017 summer season.
As News 13's Peyton LoCicero tell us, the company will be providing a free service to people in South Walton.
Beginning Memorial Day, residents and tourists along 30a will again have access to the free trolley service. This shuttle service will be rolling out with or without county funding.
"This year we took it out of consideration because of timing. For us to be able to get the wraps done for the vehicles, we would really be looking at middle to late June. By that point, we are really looking at missing the boat on visitors," said Jay Tusa, Walton County TDC director.
While the county said no to funding the program for now, local businesses said yes to helping alleviate congestion on the roads.
"They're not waiting for the government to come in. They are bringing this on themselves and the partners, which are each stop, have said, 'hey, we have got to mitigate this problem. Enough is enough. We want to make it a better experience for the tourist here. Let's bring in this amenity,'" said John Finch, owner of Sunshine Shuttle Service.
Supporters hope the 30a trolley will alleviate traffic and free up parking spaces, while also bringing business to the area.
"We hope to alleviate the congestion on 30a, that every body experiences. Especially, on rainy days," said Brad Yuhas, Water Color Resort Community Manager.
"It has become very popular. People want a stop because we are bringing customers to the front doors of these businesses. The home owners associations of these communities want to participate because they want this amenity for their homeowners," Finch told us.
The trolley transit has no less than 11 confirmed stops at major points along 30a. One of those stops is in Water Color.
"Our intent is not to bring people into Water Color, but to offer a means for our guests to have a way and traverse 30a without having to get into the car. If you want to go out and have dinner and a glass of wine, there is going to be something for you to get on and not have to get into your car," said Yuhas.
The trolley service will run for the 100 days of summer. Beginning Memorial Day weekend running to Labor Day. The TDC said they will go back to the vendors and see if they can present a stronger plan back to the Walton County Board in the fall.
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