Shuttle companies are popping up across the US to help transport city and beach go-ers in a compact, convenient and sustainable fashion. On the forefront of this trend is The Free Ride- a shuttle company founded by Alex Esposito and James Mirras in 2011. The Free Ride features a fleet of 82 GEMs across four states and 10 cities; with the goal of transporting people in an exciting and sustainable way.
The Free Ride offers its customers free transportation throughout urban and beach communities in luxurious locations such as The Hamptons, Venice Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and downtown San Diego. As the demand for urban mobility has grown, Free Ride and other shuttle companies are capitalizing on opportunities in previously untapped regions of the country.
The Advantages of a GEM Fleet
When the owners of The Free Ride began searching for the perfect vehicle for their shuttle fleet they knew that “A big aspect of the business [would focus on] limiting carbon footprint and saving money for the bottom line.” This mindset of sustainability and cost savings made GEM the ideal fit. GEM’s range of electric battery options cater to a variety of range needs and offer significant savings for any company.
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 novelty shuttle.”
In addition to GEM’s unique style, GEM also provides a sustainable solution. According the The Free Ride’s website, they have saved over 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 – it also attracts local and national companies to advertise on Free Ride’s environmentally conscious fleet.
Leveraging Style and Sustainability
The Free Ride has been able to address their bottom line needs in a fun and engaging way, with GEM as the spotlight for their profits. Each shuttle in the company fleet is covered with advertisements for companies that want exposure to the thousands of people riding the shuttles. Advertisers such as: Coca Cola, jetBlue, L'oreal, and Corona all value corporate responsibility and choose to invest their ad money in The Free Ride, a service that ultimately gives back to the community.
This is where Esposito and Mirras knew their fleet would GEM’s thrive. GEM’s unique styling and character in combination with its sustainability provide the perfect platform for these kind of companies. The eye catching exterior and the free samples during the ride give customers a chance to interact with the products while supporting a sustainable transportation option.
The Free Ride has experienced great success and growth as they capitalize on this growing need in urban areas and has been happy to have GEM to help them facilitate their business vision. Esposito adds that it has been “Nice to work with GEM over the past 6 years and to see GEM grow along with [the company]”.