Fare-free buses debut in Savannah

The new dot fare-free buses debuted on Monday (Credit: Shelbey Roberts)

Getting around downtown Savannah can be a hassle if you're in a car. But, a multi-agency city partnership is now offering some new transportation options.

"We want people to park their cars and walk or ride and use the way-finding system and use the shuttle," said Jody McIntyre, the chairman of Savannah Mobility Management Inc. (SaMMI).

The group, comprised of Chatham Area Transit, hotel and city representatives, debuted two new dot trolley buses on Monday. Unlike standard CAT buses, these trolleys will transport folks around downtown free of charge.

The two new trolleys are part of the dot Express Shuttle system and are available for downtown workers, residents and visitors. McIntyre says the purpose behind the addition is to make the city easier to navigate and more eco-friendly.

"Congestion is frustrating for everybody, so this allows everybody to move much more smoothly, to be moving about the historic downtown area and that is where the dot express shuttle is moving as well," McIntyre said.

The two new trolleys don't come cheap, but a federal grant and CAT contributions are covering the $945,000 price tag.

For right now, the dot shuttle route will remain in the historic district, but expansion could come in the nearby future.

"There are no changes to the route, however we're doing some very intensive research and we'll be looking at enhancing the routes and making some changes later on in the summer," McIntyre said.

These buses currently run 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information on the new fare-free system, visit connectonthedot.com

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