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They’re lean, green, electric machines and they’re cruising the streets from one end of Wilton Manors to the other.

Circuit has officially launched in the Island City. City employees and commissioners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at city hall on Oct. 11 and then went on some brief rides to celebrate the moment.

A fleet of three electric vehicles cruise the city and take people from any point in Wilton Manors to any other point in the city. You can only take the rides by using their app, Ride Circuit, and it costs $2 per person, each way. They’ve already been on the roads for about a month for a “soft launch.” Earlier this year, city commissioners approved a $250,000 subsidy to get the program rolling in Wilton Manors.

Karen Jernigan, Circuit’s head of business development in Florida, said the rides help build community.

“People learn their drivers’ names, they share rides with friends. It encourages pooling rides together and bringing people together.”

Drivers are local and give recommendations to riders if they have questions about the area, such as where to go for dinner or shopping.

Time of Day

Given the social nature of Wilton Manors, it’s no surprise that ridership picks up around happy hour. Add in the fact that it’s a new service that many residents aren’t aware of and it’s very slow during the day. Penny Zuercher, Finance Director for Wilton Manors, said the next goal is to encourage people to use Circuit to do errands.

“We want to encourage people to take it during the day. It’s very busy at night. This is available for your Publix run. Maybe go get a prescription at CVS, do some shopping and have lunch on The Drive.”

Jernigan said analytics will help them maximize the rides.

“We have a robust data algorithm on our platform. We see maps and ridership and follow regular patterns of the busy hours and they get adjusted from time to time.”

On The Road

Wilton Manors isn’t Circuit’s only foray into the area. The rides are also underway in parts of Fort Lauderdale as well as Oakland Park as part of a pilot program. Since short rides of a mile or two, these types of vehicles are perfect for a city the size of Wilton Manors, which is about two square miles. That makes integration with other cities a challenge. But Zuercher said it’s possible.

“Where we can work with the other cities we certainly will.”

She sums up the endeavor saying, “Be green, leave the car at home, save on gas and enjoy the city.”

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