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New bus routes could bring money to downtown Florence

NEW BUS ROUTES COULD BRING MONEY TO DOWNTOWN FLORENCE

 

posted on Monday, January 23, 2017

The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA) is considering more bus routes in downtown Florence that would take visitors in Florence hotels to nearby restaurants.

The goal of the project is to pull more visitors into Florence, and give them an opportunity to explore the downtown area once they arrive.

"You know, we have been pretty much in the same boat now since our major downsize in 2013," says PDRTA Deputy Executive Director Don Strickland. "We definitely always thought there was a need. We do have several local businesses and business owners reach out to us asking if there was potential possibility there, and if there was, how could we make it happen."

Town Hall Restaurant Executive Chef Bobby Hodge is one of those restaurant managers in favor of the bus routes bringing tourists to his eatery.

"I think half the reason people don't come down this way is because they don't know (about the restaurants), especially coming off the interstate, and you're staying in the hotels over there," says Hodge.

In order to bring the bus routes to the downtown area, PDRTA will need two more buses. The price tag of the two units will set the organization back about $80,000, but the City of Florence is willing to help.

The city approved $32,000 to go to PDRTA from its tax accommodation funds, but the rest of the cash will have to come from federal grants and local charities. The cash doesn't just determine if PDRTA can buy the buses, it will also be a determining factor in how the routes operate.

"The amount of local funds we receive on top of what we already have in place, would determine how much service, how many days, how many hours each evening that this service could possibly run," explains Strickland.

"A lot of the guys that own hotels down that way eat here and around town and they are also going to open up a hotel right across the street," says Hodge. "So I think that is also going to help bridge the (business) gap."

Strickland says although the project is still in the developmental phase, there is a lot of promise with the good it would being to downtown Florence.

"Realizing that folks see the potential and the need definitely, for any employee of authority, it is a good feeling, and we do feel like it's going to make the streets safer in the evenings," adds Strickland. "It's going to open up the doors for a lot of different possibilities."

Once PDRTA knows how much money they will receive through grants and charities, they will have a better idea of when the routes can begin and how often they will run.

 




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Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority: Be Transported


posted on Monday, June 26, 2017

The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA) is considering more bus routes in downtown Florence that would take visitors in Florence hotels to nearby restaurants.

The goal of the project is to pull more visitors into Florence, and give them an opportunity to explore the downtown area once they arrive.

"You know, we have been pretty much in the same boat now since our major downsize in 2013," says PDRTA Deputy Executive Director Don Strickland. "We definitely always thought there was a need. We do have several local businesses and business owners reach out to us asking if there was potential possibility there, and if there was, how could we make it happen."

Town Hall Restaurant Executive Chef Bobby Hodge is one of those restaurant managers in favor of the bus routes bringing tourists to his eatery.

"I think half the reason people don't come down this way is because they don't know (about the restaurants), especially coming off the interstate, and you're staying in the hotels over there," says Hodge.

In order to bring the bus routes to the downtown area, PDRTA will need two more buses. The price tag of the two units will set the organization back about $80,000, but the City of Florence is willing to help.

The city approved $32,000 to go to PDRTA from its tax accommodation funds, but the rest of the cash will have to come from federal grants and local charities. The cash doesn't just determine if PDRTA can buy the buses, it will also be a determining factor in how the routes operate.

"The amount of local funds we receive on top of what we already have in place, would determine how much service, how many days, how many hours each evening that this service could possibly run," explains Strickland.

"A lot of the guys that own hotels down that way eat here and around town and they are also going to open up a hotel right across the street," says Hodge. "So I think that is also going to help bridge the (business) gap."

Strickland says although the project is still in the developmental phase, there is a lot of promise with the good it would being to downtown Florence.

"Realizing that folks see the potential and the need definitely, for any employee of authority, it is a good feeling, and we do feel like it's going to make the streets safer in the evenings," adds Strickland. "It's going to open up the doors for a lot of different possibilities."

Once PDRTA knows how much money they will receive through grants and charities, they will have a better idea of when the routes can begin and how often they will run.

 





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