The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The New Free Shuttle Service of Pinecrest: Freebee

February 27, 2019

On Jan. 16, getting around town in Pinecrest got a little bit easier. The “Pinecrest Freebee,” an energy-efficient vehicle that carries up to five passengers allows people to travel within Pinecrest or to Metrorail Station and South Dade Transit Way for free. Other communities such as Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables have all implemented this program.

Services open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Customers can order their rides from a mobile app available called “Ride Freebee.” Local business have teamed up to promote the use of Freebee by offering discounts for those who use the service. Shula Burger in Pinecrest offers a ten percent discount to those who use the app.

The Village of Pinecrest began this service through the transportation grant the state of Florida allocated to them. As of right now, the village has two Freebee cars for a one year trial period.

“If people are receptive to it, the goal is the following year for Freebee to be paid for with advertising on the actual vehicle,” Pinecrest Village Council member Katie Abbott said.

This transportation service helps many of Palmetto’s students who may not have a license and still need to get around.

“I heard about it the week it came out through my mom who told me about and I saw the buses around,” junior Maria Morrison said. “I like how you don’t have to pay at all to get somewhere.”

However, the Freebee has its flaws. This five-seater has the capability to pick up and drop off five people who may need to get to five different locations, giving it a long wait time.

“I just use it when I really don’t have a ride to go somewhere,the only bad part about it though it takes a really long time to get to your house, it takes around 30 minutes,” Morrison said.

Students enjoy the accessibility and comfort the service offers; however this is not exactly what the Freebee was intended for.

“The real goal of the Freebee is as much as we love that the kids are using it,, we want to help our residents get to public transportation”, Abbott said. “Instead of having people driving their own cars and have to pay for parking, you can take the freebee that last mile from your house in Pinecrest to the busway and then take the bus or the Metrorail to where you need to go.”

The Village really wants to decrease the congestion of traffic during the times people commute to and from work. By using an energy-powered car, they hope to reduce the amount of emissions emitted and create a greener community.

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