New Florence shuttle connects downtown to Civic Center hotels

By: Joshua Lloyd, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Two of Florence’s main attraction hubs are now connected via shuttle.

The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority announced “Downtown Connect” on Monday morning; a free shuttle that runs between major attractions in downtown Florence and hotels near the Florence Civic Center.

The shuttle service began running with Monday’s announcement. It will operate from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays.

This shuttle is free and will run non-stop every 30 minute from downtown to eight hotels along Hospitality and Radio Drives.

Charles MacNeil, executive director of the PDRTA, said this service will make it easier for visitors to access Florence’s growing downtown.

“We get to appreciate what Florence has to offer everyday but this is an opportunity to extend our hospitality to visitors,” he said. “We’re working with the hotels to make sure everyone knows all about the service.”

Many of the hotels near the Civic Center operate a high capacity year round due to close proximity to two interstates, as wells chain brand restaurants and shopping centers. Officials said this service will provide those visitors easy access to Florence’s unique downtown.

“There’s certainly no shortage of restaurants in the Hospitality district but they’re all chains,” said Ray Reich, downtown development director. “In downtown we’re all independently owned. A lot of travelers want to see what makes a city unique and this service will give them a chance to visit downtown without ever having to move their car.”

Reich said if the shuttle does well there’s potential to expand service into Saturday night as well.

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