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Cities Feature Free Electric Shuttles
Visit the Hamptons, West Palm Beach, San Diego or many other cities around the country and you just may find yourself catching a free ride on the latest sustainable transportation trend – electric shuttles. The Free Ride (TFR), a shuttle company founded by Alex Esposito and James Mirras in 2011 offers free rides using Polaris GEM Low-Speed Electric Vehicles (LSV).
Maneuverable, convenient and eco-friendly, LSV shuttle services using GEM vehicles are popping up across the U.S. to help transport city and beach go-ers in a compact, convenient and fun way. On the forefront of this trend is The Free Ride, which features a fleet of more than 96 GEMs across four states and 10 cities, with the goal of transporting people in an exciting and sustainable way. You can find them on both coasts and in Texas with plans to continue expanding.
The Free Ride offers its customers free transportation throughout urban and beach communities in luxurious locations. As the demand for urban mobility has grown, The Free Ride and other shuttle companies are capitalizing on opportunities in previously untapped regions of the country. When the owners of The Free Ride began searching for the perfect vehicle for their shuttle fleet they had two main business goals. “A big aspect of the business [would focus on] limiting carbon footprint and saving money for the bottom line,” Mirras says. This mindset of sustainability and cost savings made GEM the ideal fit.
Traditionally, beach transportation has been dominated by large, stuffy busses – a trend The Free Ride knew it could change with GEM. Esposito and Mirras quickly recognized the efficiencies of using an all-electric fleet and GEM became the “only option” with its flexible range, superior comfort, and overall character. By breaking through the clutter with its “welcoming, open air vibe,” GEM became the standard for the perfect beach shuttle. According The Free Ride’s website, the company has saved more than 200,000 gallons of gas since their operations began in 2011. The green benefits that GEM provides are not only an advantage for The Free Ride’s bottom line – they are also attractive to the local and national companies that advertise on The Free Ride’s environmentally conscious fleet.
Each GEM in the fleet is covered with advertisements from national and international brands – including jetBlue, CNN, Corona, Vita Coco, Dasani and L’Oreal – for companies that want exposure to the thousands of people riding the shuttles. That advertising revenue makes the free rides possible. GEM’s unique styling and sustainability provide the perfect platform. The customized GEMS feature an eye-catching exterior that provides a fresh look for advertisers and is welcoming for riders. The Free Ride also allows advertisers to distribute free samples during the ride, giving customers a chance to interact with the products.
The Free Ride has experienced great success and growth as they capitalize on this growing need in urban areas. Esposito says it has been, “nice to work with GEM over the past 6 years and to see GEM grow along with us.”