City of Sarasota service launched in March 2022
“The City of Sarasota’s free, award-winning Bay Runner trolley has reached another milestone, carrying 250,000 passengers since its launch in March 2022,” the city has announced.
“Transporting a quarter of a million passengers in just 18 months is impressive,” said city Parking General Manager Broxton Harvey in the release. “Sarasota residents and visitors want convenient, affordable transportation options for the first or last mile of their trip,” he continued in the release. “With the Bay Runner, riders are leaving the car behind and getting to their destination in a safe, fun way, while doing their part to help reduce traffic.”
Lido Key resident Fran Seminerio “was celebrated at the John Ringling Boulevard/St. Armands Circle trolley stop as the 250,000th rider and presented with a City of Sarasota backpack filled with goodies for a Bay Runner passenger on the move, including reusable water bottles and an umbrella,” the release notes. “Seminerio enjoys the convenience of the Bay Runner and rides it weekly.,” the release adds.
The Bay Runner provides free service on a fixed route that extends along Main Street through downtown, then over the John Ringling Causeway Bridge, around St. Armands Circle, and over to Lido Beach and Ted Sperling Park, the release explains.
During the creation of the city’s first master transportation plan, Sarasota in Motion — which the City Commission adopted in 2020 —residents supported the idea of a trolley, the release points out. “The plan also identified micro-mobility options that work in conjunction with the trolley for first-mile, last-mile trips,” like the city’s Veo e-scooter/bicycle rental program, the release adds.
In 2022, the International Parking & Mobility Institute recognized the combined use of the Bay Runner and micro-mobility options with an Award of Excellence for innovation, the release notes.
The Bay Runner hours of operation are as follows:
- 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
- 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays.
A route map is available at SarasotaBayRunner.com. In addition, a mobile app with real-time tracking and arrival information can be downloaded via the Apple App Store and Google Play, the release says.