Local Business Leaders Come Together To Change the Culture of South Walton
Santa Rosa Beach FL: On May 24th, Scenic Hwy 30A in South Walton County, FL, welcomes the Sunshine Turtle Express. Free to the public, this transportation program is privately funded by local business leaders dedicated to changing the culture of the area. John Finch, Owner of Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine, sees this as a jumping off point to expanding public transportation county line to county line.
“We can no longer sit and hope the traffic conditions improve. As the TDC has reported, a trolley service is no. 4 on the list of what the public wants implemented in South Walton County,” Finch said. “The leaders we’ve worked with know investing in a system that will benefit everybody means positive change.”
Those leaders include:
- Robert Davis & Pam Avera, Town of Seaside
- Johnny Earles, Grayton Bar & Grill
- Chip Haring & George Hartley, V Seagrove Restaurant
- Oli Petit, Red Bar
- Grant Blackwell & Billy Buzzett, Grayton Beach Neighborhood Association
- Skip & Victoria Moore, 723 Whiskey Bravo
- Jane & Marie Solomon, 850 Properties
“We felt it was important to invest in the future of transportation along 30A,” Pam Avera of Seaside said. “We hope this pilot program will be a catalyst in furthering support of public transportation to benefit both visitors and locals. Cars should become the second, if not third, form of transportation on 30A; not the first.”
Mr. Finch and Alan Roberts, VP of Sales & Marketing, sought funding from several sources. A private system was not only expedient, but also collaborative.
“I think what Sunshine did was great. Bringing seemingly competitive businesses together for the greater good took much a lot of persistence,” said Grant Blackwell, Pres. of the Grayton Beach Neighborhood Association. “Like their program at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, unified funding works.”
Stops are: Grayton Corners, Grayton Bar & Grill, Seaside, V Seagrove, 723 Whiskey Bravo, and Publix on 395. A live map showing all stops and the Turtle Express vehicle in real time will launch on May 24th, viewable on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
Hours of operation: 11am – 12midnight, May 24 – Sept. 1, 2014.