The City of Portsmouth is taking action to reduce the parking squeeze downtown.
The city has committed $100,000 to fund a new free shuttle service. A 16-passenger van will transport visitors and downtown workers from a church parking lot located near I95. The pilot project will run weekends only right now.
City Mayor Bob Lister says that most downtown parking spaces and the public parking garage are usually full, especially on weekends. He was on hand for the shuttle service ribbon cutting.
“We're hoping that people will park out here and take the shuttle in town, which will avoid a lot of traffic downtown and people driving around and around looking for a parking space.”
City Public Works Director Peter Rice says that the success of the shuttle will determine its future.
“It's something that we're hoping will work well and we're looking to expand this opportunity to additional days and potentially to additional sites as we move forward.”
The shuttle will run every 10 minutes on Friday nights and weekend afternoon and evenings.
The city has leased spaces from the Connect Church, which is approximately one mile from the downtown.