In an effort to solve the traffic and parking issues on the Emerald Coast, Walton County locals Steve Burnett and Curtis Spagnola are launching Gulf Coast Go, a fleet of double decker buses and smaller trolleys that will travel along Highway 98 between Okaloosa Island and South Walton and along Scenic 30A. The official launch date will be during Spring Break of 2018.
In 2016, South Walton and Okaloosa counties were visited by over seven million people. The opportunity for visitors to take advantage of what both destinations have to offer has been hindered by a lack of transportation options. With the influx of this many people, the need for a viable transportation alternative is critical. Gulf Coast Go is here to help resolve this ongoing and frustrating problem.
Gulf Coast Go is a “hop on, hop off” transportation fleet that will connect South Walton visitors with the many attractions and businesses that Destin and Miramar Beach have to offer. And Destin tourists will now have the opportunity to enjoy a bit of the unique lifestyle that is found in South Walton. Double decker buses will be used along Highway 98, and trolleys along Scenic 30A.
The ultimate goal is to offer more variety to tourists and garner repeated travelers to Destin and South Walton while helping alleviate an ever-growing traffic problem. There isn’t a travel option like this available for locals or tourists in South Walton or Destin, and it’s likely to reduce the number of vehicles traveling between these destinations.
Gulf Coast Go will also help with the ever-increasing parking issues in Destin and South Walton. The service will allow tourists to gain access to attractions, restaurants, retail and activities without the struggle of parking. Gulf Coast Go believes parking concerns will be alleviated and traffic patterns will be influenced on 98 and 30A.
Initial routes will have multiple stops from 30A to Okaloosa Island. Gulf Coast Go will also have the capability to book local activities for riders, such as dolphin tours, paddleboarding, fishing charters, parasailing, watercraft rentals, water parks and more. Over 30 vendors are already on board. Riders can purchase one, three, five or seven-day bus passes and hop on or off any time.
During the peak season, operating hours will be from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekends. Locals will be able to buy a Local Pass at a discounted rate to travel with ease whether for work or play.
As part of the launch, Gulf Coast Go will provide FREE transportation during the 30A Songwriters Festival Jan. 12-15. Using the new trolleys, Gulf Coast Go will provide all-day transportation from the major venue, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, and nightly transportation from venues along 30A.
– Jill Tanner
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