A free shuttle service has launched in downtown Augusta known as Freeloader. Two electric cars will silently cruise up and down Broad Street during lunch’s peak hours of 11-2, hopefully making life a little easier on folks heading to grab a bite.
The man behind Freeloader said he was on vacation with his wife in Blue Ridge, North Carolina, according to an article in the Aiken Standard. He and his wife were a few minutes late for a planned train ride and while standing on the platform, an electric car drove past.
He later found out that electric car was owned by a local businessman who offered a free shuttle service in the area, and the idea was formed. He started Freeloader in downtown Aiken in February of last year.
Norman Dunagan, who also owns the Dumpster Depot and the Whiskey Alley restuarant on the Alley in downtown Aiken, is known as a guy who has his hands in a lot of things, and seems to have the Midas touch. More importantly, he is very admired and respected by those who have come in contact with him.
Dunagan is a vital ‘behind the scenes’ player in Aiken, known as someone always looking to give back and help others.
His entry into the downtown Augusta market is a great thing. Our gut tells us he will become more involved in the Broad Street scene, an area of opportunity hard to resist to a serial entrepreneur like Dunagan.
Which would be a fantastic thing for downtown Augusta.
Freeloader operates Monday through Friday on Broad Street in downtown Augusta. Simply text 555888 along with your address.
Freeloader is funded by advertising on the cars as well as tips for the drivers.
On a side note, downtown parking meters are dead in the water for the foreseeable future. (Despite the appearance of progress)
If they aren’t dead in the water and are installed, there will be a good ‘ol Augusta battle royal between the business owners and the members of the Augusta commission that will rage on for years. There is a lack of buy-in from the businesses downtown and those parking and patronizing those businesses.