As the fall semester gets underway at Florida State University in Tallahassee in August, students will have a new transportation option available to them. Gotcha, a new business developed by FSU alumi Sean Flood and Drew Sfugaras, and their partner Chris Murphy, will provide free rides to local restaurants, apartment complexes and wherever else students and faculty need to go
Gotcha, which stands for Green Operated Transit Carrying Humanity Around, uses six-passenger electric vehicles called Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), which are manufactured as a subsidiary of Chrysler.
The vehicles will circulate around the campus and local area, following routes that Gotcha has determined to have a high volume of student traffic. Students can flag down one of the Gotcha vehicles to catch a ride. The service is free, with its costs offset by advertising displayed on the vehicles themselves.
Although they are unaffiliated with the university, which offers its own Seminole Express bus service on campus, Gotcha will target the campus’ transportation and parking problems, says Flood, president of The Gotcha Group. “You still have people riding by themselves in a vehicle, parking on campus, and moving two or three times a day,” he explains, “and, in our opinion, there’s a huge environmental impact from that.”
The Gotcha service also aims to improve student safety, particularly, Flood says, “when the sun goes down and students are going back and forth to bars and restaurants and crossing major streets.”
The company has plans to expand to up to 20 additional universities across the country over the next 36 to 48 months, Flood says. Currently, the plan is to start at each new location with about six vehicles and eventually operate between 10 and 15 total vehicles.