Ride with Downtowner


We get it. Parking downtown is difficult and some don't enjoy paying 1 or 2 dollars an hour. We've introduced Downtowner to help ease the parking congestion being experienced in the urban core.

The City of Savannah is offering downtown workers and visitors a flexible form of transportation through the use of the iPhone and Android app “Downtowner” which offers on demand rides within the downtown area.

The need for such a service for late-night downtown workers was identified by City Council during discussions of the Parking Matters study, which recommended extending meter enforcement into the evening, in addition to elimination of time limits and other changes intended to make parking more efficient downtown. The City also offers very low monthly rates in downtown garages for those who work at night -- $35 per month to park from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days per week in any City-owned garage.

The six-month trial program begins May 10 and will be available to any person between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. The service area requires rides must begin and end within the borders of MLK Boulevard, Broad Street., Park Avenue and the Savannah River.





We get it. Parking downtown is difficult and some don't enjoy paying 1 or 2 dollars an hour. We've introduced Downtowner to help ease the parking congestion being experienced in the urban core.

The City of Savannah is offering downtown workers and visitors a flexible form of transportation through the use of the iPhone and Android app “Downtowner” which offers on demand rides within the downtown area.

The need for such a service for late-night downtown workers was identified by City Council during discussions of the Parking Matters study, which recommended extending meter enforcement into the evening, in addition to elimination of time limits and other changes intended to make parking more efficient downtown. The City also offers very low monthly rates in downtown garages for those who work at night -- $35 per month to park from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days per week in any City-owned garage.

The six-month trial program begins May 10 and will be available to any person between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. The service area requires rides must begin and end within the borders of MLK Boulevard, Broad Street., Park Avenue and the Savannah River.




Q&A

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  • I'm finding out that the Downtowner is being used by tourists and drivers are implying they are only paid via tips. First of all, if this was a solution to keep our service industry people safe in the late evening hours because they have to park long distances: • Why are tourists being allowed to use this? • Why are we, as a city, paying for free rides for tourists? • Doesn't this take away from our local economy by lessening the market for taxis, Lyft and Uber drivers? • Why on earth are we not offering parking passes to service industry folks or even Savannah city residents as a whole and letting our millions of tourists pay for parking so we can continue to use our city? Furthermore, can you confirm a living wage is being paid to the drivers of this service?

    GHilmers asked 5 months ago

    Hi Gretchen, a lot to unpack here, let’s start from the top!

    Downtowner drivers are paid hourly and are compensated fairly for their services. Downtowner is not being funded by the City’s general fund, it is being paid for by car owners who pay to park downtown. If you use Downtowner, you aren’t paying for Downtowner!

    Downtowner is being used by downtown workers, residents and tourists. It has the capacity to be offered to everyone. Our reports from Downtowner drivers have said that service workers represent the majority of riders after midnight. That was the intention of this program and we are glad to see it is serving its purpose.

    There is no evidence that we have seen that shows Downtowner is decreasing rideshare riders or even competes for the same consumers. Downtowner is an extension of public transportation services much like the DOT shuttle or Chatham Area Transit bus routes.

    Parking permits for service workers have been considered in the past, but due to the limited capacity of street parking (especially in the areas north of Broughton Street) it would be impossible to accommodate every downtown worker with a parking space. Also, using these spaces as employee parking would prevent consumers from being able to park near they businesses they are patrons at. 

    Give the Parking Matters study a read and let’s keep the dialogue going!

  • I understand this is a 6 month trial.. please consider extending to Victory Drive, as many servers live past Park Ave, and many are female workers looking to get home safe after dark

    NATALIE asked 5 months ago

    Hi Natalie, if we continue to see the support we have seen from our downtown workers we will absolutely look into expanding it! 

  • Since you are decreasing rideshare riders, is there any compensation plan for that lost revenue??

    A person of interest asked 5 months ago

    Hello, there is no evidence that Downtowner is decreasing rideshare riders or even competes for the same consumers. Downtowner is an extention of public transportation services much like the DOT shuttle or Chatham Area Transit bus routes.