SEAGROVE BEACH — A new company hopes to reduce traffic and booze-cruising along 30A.
Stepping up to the crowded South Walton plate is Tuk Tuk 30A, an unconventional shuttle service that began May 1.
Owned by part-time Walton County resident Casey Woods, the business taxis seat up to six guests at a time from Blue Mountain Beach to The Hub along 30A. Fees include a $5 flat rate and an additional $1 for every minute traveled.
"It's a very outdoor feel, and I don't think you get that feeling with any other form of transportation," Woods said on the electric carts that travel about 30 mph. " It's a fun, safe, eco-friendly way to travel."
According to Tyler Yarbrough, general manager of the brand, tuk-tuks originated in India. Since opening along the Gulf Coast, the brand has seen tremendous support, he added.
"Really, it was the idea of less drinking and driving and a better transportation mode for 30A with the traffic being as backed up as it is," Yarbrough said.
Woods, who splits his time between South Walton and St. Petersburg, said he first saw a tuk-tuk while visiting Europe.
"They were zipping down the road and before you could even see them, you'd hear laughter and fun and music," he said.
He decided to pursue the interest and purchased a pair. After visiting his girlfriend in South Walton, he decided 30A would be the perfect spot to put them to use.
"After falling in love with 30A, I realized that tuk-tuks were really made for 30A," he said.
Woods hopes to have six tuk-tuks running along Walton's coast by July, eventually working toward having up to 10 in the mix. Coverage will expand as more are added until nearly all of 30A is serviced.
Current hours of operation are Mondays from 3-10 p.m., Tuesdays from 3 p.m.-midnight, Fridays from 3 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
"We're hoping that we're able to take the excitement and turn it into something great," Yarbrough said.