BRADENTON --The Manatee Performing Arts Center has drawn rave reviews from almost everyone who has seen a show there.
The one criticism has been the parking. Because the center was built without a new parking lot, patrons have had to pay for valet parking, or they've had to park off-site and walk a few minutes. Walking has not a popular choice for a lot of people, especially in bad weather.
Now there's another option.
The center has started running shuttles from the Promenade Condominium parking garage to the front door of the center before and after shows.
The shuttles are free, and they go back and forth from the garage to the center starting an hour before performances. (That means they start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.) They take people back to the garage immediately after the show.
The shuttles are covered, so patrons can be out of the rain or the sun from the time they park in the garage until the time they reach the center. And because the two shuttles, which can seat up to 12 passengers each, run continuously, no one should have to wait more than a few minutes.
The Promenade Condominium garage is at 808 Third Ave. W., just west of the Manatee Performing Arts Center. There are about 200 spaces in the garage that are available for Manatee Performing Arts Center patrons.
People going to the performing arts center should enter the garage from the west. The east entrance is for condominium residents. The shuttle will pick up patrons near the southwest corner of the garage. Signs are being prepared to point the way, but they're not in place yet.