Arts & Life

New free electric shuttle program launches in downtown Long Beach

Residents of Long Beach will now have a new free electric shuttle service to move around the city.

This riding service started in October at Belmont Shore and has then expanded its services on Thursday, Nov. 17 to downtown Long Beach. Ride Circuit Shuttles are eco-friendly and easy to use through the Ride Circuit app.

The city decided that this service would work to reduce the demand for on-street parking and as an extra resource for residents and visitors to get around downtown.

“Residents can leave their cars at home and take advantage of this convenient way to explore the Alamitos Beach and downtown areas by shuttle,” said Second District Councilwoman Cindy Allen.

Long Beach Circuit shuttles hold up to five passengers, two of which are ADA-accessible for those with disabilities.

In September, the City Council approved the two-year contract and funding of a $1.6 million shuttle program.

The areas now accessible with this service are Belmont Shore, Naples Island and Alamitos Bay Landing. This free ride service program will run from Belmont Shore to the Alamitos Bay Landing and downtown to Alamitos Beach. These two service areas are not connected.

The Ride Circuit shuttles operation hours are as follows 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Residents can stop a shuttle or use the Circuit app to access the shuttle services.

These services have been implemented to help the businesses in Belmont Shore that are struggling with public parking since the new opening of the shopping center at 2nd and PCH.

The lack of street parking has caused businesses to receive fewer customers and a slow economy. The shuttle services are made to help increase the economy and decrease the gas emissions in the city.

“We also want to stimulate the local economy by better-circulating visitors throughout the corridor and better activating visitor-serving destinations,” said Department of Public Works Director Eric Lopez.

With a large population in the city, parking has been among the many complaints residents have. Regarding the shuttle services, the feedback from residents has been positive so far. Residents have had a good reaction to the ride services and believe that they are convenient and easy to use.

This new form of public transportation can increase the life and activity in downtown Long Beach. Residents wish to enjoy their holidays with no worries about parking.

“With the upcoming holidays, this is a great way to support local businesses and get around these neighborhoods,” said Congressman-Elect Robert Garcia.

Other than using the free transportation service for fun, it can also be used in terms of tourism. These services can take users to local hotels, shops, restaurants and essential businesses: grocery stores, pharmacies and more.

Long Beach City officials are expecting an expansion of the free ride service citywide if there is funding available to support the program.

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