Wilton Manors’ free Wilton Drive shuttle service will be expanded and made permanent. City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson announced the expansion at the July 11 commission meeting and said that the hours for Friday and Saturday nights would be expanded.
Originally launched in March, the shuttle, which travels up and down Wilton Drive, was operated as part of a 90-day pilot program to test public response and see if there was enough ridership potential to make it a permanent program. It was initiated as a way to help alleviate some of the parking problems along Wilton Drive.
Those who can’t find parking spaces at the city parking lots at the south end of Wilton Drive can park at the north end of the street and take the shuttle to where they want to go.
Henderson said ridership has grown and city officials decided to keep the shuttle in operation.
Currently, the shuttle operates from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays.
On social media, some commentators said the hours were insufficient. “Doesn’t stay out late enough,” wrote Graham Brunk.
The shuttle is funded by the city but officials are looking to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization [MPO] to get grants to help pay for it. Henderson said those grant requests would be addressed with the MPO at an upcoming meeting.
Other changes could be to the shuttle itself. Commissioner Scott Newton said he talked to some residents about the shuttle who said that some seniors had trouble getting into the vehicle. “Older people have a difficult time.” He suggested that the city should possibly get another type of shuttle.
The shuttle has eight stops – City Hall/Hagen Park parking lot, the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, behind the 2309 N. Dixie Hwy. parking lot at 2216 NE 11 Ave., Northeast 9 Avenue and Wilton Drive, the Northeast 8 Terrace parking lot, Northeast 7 Avenue and Wilton Drive, Northeast 22 Street and Wilton Drive, and Richardson Park.