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May 29, 2017 12:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Free Ride Cruises Into Seventh Season

The Free Ride in Montauk.
May 30, 2017 3:30 PM

The Free Ride, an electric shuttle that got its start six years ago by transporting passengers to Main Beach in East Hampton, hit its one millionth ride this spring, according to the business’s local founders.

Alex Esposito and James Mirras, who’ve been friends since childhood and are both East Hampton High School graduates, have expanded the Free Ride to include 80 shuttles in four states and 11 cities.

The breezy free rides—which earn money through advertising wrapped around the little open-air, electric cars—kicked into gear again over Memorial Day weekend on the South Fork in East Hampton, Southampton and Montauk.

“It’s exciting to see our little hometown beach shuttle evolve into a real transit solution around the country,” Mr. Esposito said in a press release, noting that the Free Ride fills a need for “micro” transportation within a range of no more than three miles. “It’s a niche that our service fills and a problem faced by cities all over,” he said.

The service is moving toward an app-based, on-demand “point A-to-B” formula that drew more than 20,000 users during a two-month test run in San Diego, according to the release.

Locally, the shuttles can be found in Montauk, near Atlantic Terrace, the Sloppy Tuna and Navy Beach; in East Hampton, at Khanh Sports, Park Place Wines and Liquors, the long-term public parking lot next to the YMCA East Hampton RECenter, Lisa’s Lovely Organics and Main Beach; and in Southampton, at the train station, Agawam Park and Coopers Beach, as well as on Main Street and Jobs Lane.

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