Will free shuttle, cheaper parking help the Oregon District?


The Oregon District is getting a new shuttle service.

Oregon District Business Association approved the yet to be named program during a meeting Wednesday.

Details on how the service will work have yet to be finalized.  Read below for the preliminary proposal.

Will you ride it?

Reported Monday, July 27

Think it is hard to find parking in the Oregon District?

A proposed free shuttle service might make parking and bouncing around the historic district that much more easy on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Proposed Route

The Oregon District Business Association is working with the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Citywide Development, the RTA and the offices of the Dayton mayor and city manager to bring such a shuttle to the historic entertainment district near downtown Dayton, said Mike Martin, ODBA's president.

General manager Natalie Skilliter and her husband, executive chef Jack Skilliter, talk. They recently opened Corner Kitchen at the high-profile corner of East Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

"Our plan is threefold. First we want to provide our employees a convenient location for parking away from prime parking that we would like to reserve for patrons of the Oregon District. Second, we want to provide safe, convenient, inexpensive parking for customers on the peak nights of Friday and Saturday," Mike said in an email message. "Finally, we want to encourage our customers to move between different businesses in the District to increase the awareness to our customers of the many types of cool businesses we have here in Oregon and to increase foot traffic in these businesses."

If approved, the ODBA would foot the $35,000 annual bill to operate the 21-passenger shuttle bus. It would seek sponsors and sell naming rights.

Businesses will vote on the shuttle proposal Wednesday at 4 p.m. If approved, the program will start Sept. 1.

Supporters say parking challenges will increase when the Hughes Supply construction is underway.

Here are few key points:

The corner of Fifth Street and Brown Street in Dayton's Oregon District is currently home to Salar, a restaurant that opened in 2013. (Photographed Dec. 22, 2014) LISA POWELL / STAFF

Free employee parking.

The city will provide free parking to Oregon District employees at the Dayton Transportation Center Parking Garage at Fifth and Patterson streets.  Martin said this could help open up parking spaces in the Oregon District to customers.

Discounted weekend parking rates.

People can park in the garage for a flat rate of $3. The time is to be determined. The 1,416 vehicle capacity garage is typically $2 per hour with a $6 daily rate.

Bouncing around the district

The free shuttle service would run every 15 minutes or so and move folks around the entire Oregon Business District. It will go up Fifth Street from the transportation center and make specific stops at Dub Pub and Franco's and over to Wheat Penny, Oregon Tails (pet salon), Found Treasures 4 You and the  Dayton Theatre Guild area on Wayne Avenue before heading back down Fifth Street to the transportation center.

Source: (Oregon Tails Pet Salon's Facebook page)

What do you think?

Would you use a free shuttle? Do you think it would work?

See something, say something. Contact this blogger at amelia.robinson@coxinc.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth

About the Author