Rideshare hubs launch Friday in Downtown Orlando

An estimated 20,000 revelers leave Downtown Orlando each Friday and Saturday night, the City of Orlando trying to make it easier to catch a ride home.

Insanity is the only way to describe Downtown at 2 a.m. on the weekends as thousands of partiers try to get home all at the same time.

"Just chaos, pure chaos,” said Jose Cortes, Orlando resident. “You gotta walk ten miles just to get to your Uber and it’s really difficult to get out of here.”

Cortes frequents the downtown entertainment district, and he says it could take up to 45 minutes to get a rideshare car home.

“At the end of the night, when bars close at 2 a.m., it just gets so congested with Ubers,” said John Szerdi, Orlando resident.

He was glad to hear that tonight, the City of Orlando is launching two rideshare hubs in Downtown -- one at Heritage Square, the other at Gertrude Avenue. When a rider requests a car, the rideshare app will direct them to the nearest hub.

“As a rider you come into this que or corral or pen, whatever you want to call it, you have event transport staff checking you in, putting you into this holding area and then matching you with your Uber or your lift as they arrive,” said Dominique Greco, City of Orlando Nighttime Economy Manager.

The city’s six-month pilot program hopes to reduce stress for people leaving the city center but also cut down on traffic, accidents and safety issues.

Cortes says safety is what matters most because people will no longer have to meet their car in dark alleys and they can rest assured that they’ll be getting the right car home.

“With all the stuff that has been happening lately, I really do like the fact that it’s a centralized location and people can say oh that’s my ride,” said Cortes.

In addition to the coordinators helping people find their rides, food, restrooms and security will be available on site. If you don’t have a rideshare app, taxi’s will also be offered at the hubs.