The Free Ride, a free shuttle service which started right here in the Hamptons, recently hit 1 million rides nationally without using any gasoline. With its seventh season underway, The Free Ride notes that they provide 1,000 rides daily in four states and 11 cities.
Launched in 2011 by local childhood friends, Alexander Esposito and James Mirras, The Free Ride sought to fix the problem of parking, stress and congestion when getting to their hometown beach. They opted to make it free by using electric cars to cut out the cost of fuel, and by working with municipal organizations and advertisers.
“It’s exciting to see our little hometown beach shuttle evolve into a real transit solution around the country. As we’ve grown we’ve learned that there are few transportations options that focus on 0-3 miles. It’s a niche that our service fills, a problem faced by cities all over. We’re looking forward to a great summer season on the East End and in all our locations,” Esposito said.
With three routes in the Hamptons, two in South Florida, one in The Jersey Shore and four in California, TFR does not intend to stop there. They are looking forward to bringing out the app nationally.
Last year the app Free Ride Everywhere Downtown, also known as FRED, was created in the city of San Diego. TFR paired with Civic San Diego to get a free ride in the city going to restaurants and shops throughout the city. FRED created 15-person vehicles with a plan to expand in the future as the success of the business grows. These vehicles are mint green with advertisements on the side, similar to TFR.
“Ridership there has been almost overwhelming as people all around the city use the service to get around,” Esposito said of the San Diego operation.
Recently, TFR was involved in the first annual Spring Celebration Street Fair in East Hampton giving free rides to and from parking lots and the event.
“It was our maiden voyage for the season, so a fun way to kick it off. We always like to get involved with local events and help out when we can,” Esposito explained.
For more information or to learn how to get a free ride in an area near you, go to thefreeride.com.