In Islamorada, the Freebee ridesharing program resumed service on June 5 with new rules, limited rider capacities and enhanced cleaning practices to ensure everyone’s safety.
Freebee is running from the north end of the village to the south end in the new larger vehicles that were delivered at the beginning of March — just a few weeks before service was discontinued due to the coronavirus.
All Freebee drivers are required to wear face coverings and gloves while driving passengers from hotels to restaurants, shops and other businesses. Riders are also required to wear face coverings; those who don’t won’t be allowed to board.
Freebee service is limited to single trips and not multiple trips (No pooled rides). Riders are not allowed to sit next to the driver and the number of riders is limited to a maximum of four per group.
The Freebee vehicles are wiped down with disinfectant after each rider drop-off. Riders will not be allowed to have open containers of food or drinks within the Freebee vehicle. Riders will not be allowed to board the Freebee if they are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
The Freebee vehicles are disinfected to begin and end the day.
Operating hours are: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturdays, noon to midnight; and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
John Janusz, director of economic development for Freebee, told the Weekly in March that feedback from riders dating back to services in the village last year had been “extremely positive with glowing reviews for drivers.” The free electric vehicle ridesharing service began operation in November 2018.
“We are beyond excited to be able to now provide Freebee service from Lower Matecumbe to Plantation Key and everywhere in between,” he said. “Same as before, the rides are free and the vehicles are 100% electric. Transportation is door-to-door and on-demand. The difference now is that we are adding two Freebee XL vehicles to the Islamorada fleet in addition to one Freebee Mini that will continue to provide service on Upper Matecumbe.”
The Ride Freebee app is available from the App Store or from Google Play. Those without a smartphone may call 305-984-5057 to request a ride.
Freebee picks up customers right at their home, hotel or business within Islamorada.