Visitors touring the art galleries, breweries and restaurants in downtown Leesburg on recent weekends may have seen the club car shuttling people to historic district hotspots. That will become a much more common scene starting Aug. 10.
That’s when Asa Rusk’s CartWheels operation formally launches.
Rusk is uniquely familiar with Loudoun’s transportation needs, especially when night life is involved. For the past eight years he has worked with restaurant entrepreneur Azmi Zarou to build the Road Yachts fleet that offers safe late-night rides from area bars as well as bus rentals for activities such as weddings and wine tours.
With CartWheels, Rusk is trying to accomplish similar goals—provide safe transportation options and help improve the visitors’ experience. He has two road-ready club cars in operation and more on order, including larger eight- and 10-seaters.
Initially, CartWheels will focus its service in downtown Leesburg. Customers will be encouraged to park in one of the town’s underutilized—and free—Pennington parking lot on Church Street and then hop on a cart for the under-two-minute ride to the core activity center on King Street. The carts will run in a circuit throughout the downtown area on weekend nights, but patrons also will be able to download the CartWheels app and call for a driver to pick them up and take them to another location or back to their cars. The cost is $7 per person for unlimited rides.
The service won’t just be available to visitors. Rusk said he’s already had questions from residents in the downtown Chesterfield and Crescent Place neighborhoods about hopping on shuttles from those locations. That won’t be a problem, he said.
And the carts won’t just be used in Leesburg, but also to support other community events. For example, visitors to this fall’s Waterford Fair will be able to use the service to get from the parking fields and to zoom around to the various festival activity centers in village.
So far, Rusk has been making trial runs on some weekend nights in Leesburg and getting good response.
“It’s fun. A lot of people look at you when you go by,” Rusk said.
Find out more at cartwheelsva.net.