Palmetto Bay began a new Freebee shuttle system on Monday, July 22, with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at Palmetto Bay Park. The “green” gasless on-demand vehicles will pick up residents and take them anywhere within Palmetto Bay, free.
The two vehicles, similar to those in Coral Gables and other cities, already had begun operation that morning before the ceremony.
Attending the ceremony were Mayor Karyn Cunningham, Vice Mayor John DuBois and Councilmembers Patrick Fiore and Marsha Matson. Councilmember David Singer did not attend. Also present were Jason Spiegel, co-founder of Freebee and other Freebee staffers, village manager Edward Silva, village Parks & Recreation staffers, Maria Levrant of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava’s office and a few dozen area residents.
Mayor Cunningham welcomed everyone to the ribbon cutting and expressed her gratitude to all those who had a hand in bringing it about.
“This has been a long time in the making, probably over a year,” Mayor Cunningham said. “We’re super excited to have this launched right here from Palmetto Bay Park. The whole idea of being able to rely upon gasless electric vehicles fits in well with our beautiful city and the way we approach environmental issues.”
Spiegel, co-founder of Freebee and a UM graduate, was introduced and said he was pleased to see the service launched there.
“We’re really excited to bring this great mobility service to the Village of Palmetto Bay. Our goal is to get cars off the road and make communities a place where you can live, work and play without the need of a personal vehicle.”
Resident Don Waters is enthusiastic about the new service and plans to use it daily.
“I’m going to have it pick me up at home, take me to my office, to the restaurant for lunch, take me back to the office maybe or take me home,” Waters said. “I’m going to use it as often as I can.”
Myra Solomon, another village resident, also was pleased with the Freebee service idea.
“I’ve always been a neighborhood kind of person, so this fits me well,” Solomon said. “I shop around here so I’ll be using this all the time. I used to use the Palmetto Bay Shuttle (IBus) so this’ll be perfect.”
In September, in addition to the two existing vehicles, two “Freebee” shuttle buses will be added to take riders from Palmetto Bay Park to the Dadeland South Metrorail station, Monday through Friday, mornings and evenings. Service hours are: Monday-Friday, 6:30-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.,
Saturday, 1-10 p.m.
Riders can download “Ride Freebee” in their app store, and summon Freebee to pick them up and deliver them to any point in the village. Anyone who does not have a smart phone or does not wish to download the app may use this phone number to summon Freebee: 305-397-5002.