What started as a flag-down service is now one of Miami’s best ways to get around town because it is accessible, environmentally friendly, and most importantly IT IS FREE. Freebee Miami arrived in 2012 and it hasn’t stopped growing since.
However, why spend money on an Uber/Lyft or stress and over parking when you can ride for free with Freebee? The goal is to provide a convenient way to move around, according to Managing Partner Jason Spiegel.
“Now with so many issues of transportation and parking, our hope is to get cars off the road so people can work and play without needing to use a vehicle,” he said. “We give users a reason to leave their car at home.”
Freebee’s vehicles look like golf carts with funky doors. Like Uber/Lyft, you can order a Freebee from their app. Unlike the other ride-sharing apps, you can select what music you want beforehand and even chat with the driver in case they are lost or want to confirm your location.
Besides being free, Freebee’s vehicles are completely electric. To support the City of Miami's Climate Action Plan and offset the “gas guzzlers” that make up Miami public transportation, Spiegel and his co-founders figured out a better way.
“We’re a very sustainable way to increase the quality of life here in Miami,” he said. “This is the future of transportation in Miami.”
Additionally, Freebee offers plenty of discounts in the area that they serve. You can click on the “Deals” section of the app and receive free drinks and appetizers, or receive discounts to your favorite bars, restaurants, and other recreational activities.
Although free, eco-friendly, and convenient, it does have a few downsides:
It is not available in all of Miami: You can only use Freebee in the following areas: Wynwood, Brickell, Downtown, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, and Key Biscayne. You can’t use this form of Miami transit to go from Coral Gables to Key Biscayne, but you can only use it within the neighborhood.
Doesn’t work 24/7: The vehicles do have set hours and vary depending on the neighborhood:
Coconut Grove: 11 am - 8 pm (Sun-Wed), 11 am - 11 pm (Thurs-Sat)
Coral Gables: 11 am - 11 pm (Mon-Sun)
Key Biscayne: 8 am - 8 pm (Sun-Thurs), 8 am - 10 pm (Fri), 10 am - 10 pm (Sat)
Brickell, Downtown, Wynwood, Edgewater, Midtown, Design District: 11 am - 11 pm (Sun-Thurs), 11 am - 2 pm (Fri-Sat)
Miami Beach: 12 pm - 12 am (Mon-Wed), 12 pm - 2 am (Thurs-Sun)
Miami Lakes: 8 am - 3 pm (Mon-Fri), Closed Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm (Sun)
Sometimes Takes a While: More congested areas of South Florida has more vehicles and drivers available, so you can request and receive a Freebee ride in usually less than three minutes. However, if you are in a less congested area, it will take a little longer.
Because of its success and need to continue adding vehicles and drivers to the Freebee program, they plan on expanding to cover more areas of South Florida. You can soon catch a ride from your boat to the bar as Freebee expands to Islamorada around Thanksgiving time.
As for the rest of Miami? There are already plans to keep adding neighborhoods to the app so more people can enjoy the form of free Miami transit.
“We’ll be in every municipality in the next 12-24 months,” Spiegel said.
Until then, I’ll just use the app when I don’t feel like walking around Wynwood.