Two Hamptons shuttle services that provide free transportation to local beaches during the summer are combining, starting Memorial Day Weekend.
SpotRides, which was founded by Southampton Village natives Chris and Stacy Dimon in 2012, will operate this summer in the village as part of Hamptons Free Ride, which has served East Hampton since 2011.
The shuttles are plug-in electric vehicles that pick up passengers around town on a loop to the beach. In the case of Southampton Village, the beach is Coopers, which was picked as Dr. Beach's Best Beach in America of 2010.
Alexander Esposito, a co-founder of Hamptons Free Ride, said that by joining forces, they can tap into the Dimons' local knowledge of Southampton. "We’re excited to work with Stacy and Chris,” he said Tuesday.
Esposito is from Springs, and co-founder James Mirras is from Montauk. They conceived the advertising-supported, no-fare service in their hometown.
Esposito said the last two years have been successful for Hamptons Free Ride, which started with one route in East Hampton Village then added two last year, in Amagansett and Montauk. "We’ve had a lot of riders and a lot of interest from some great advertisers,” he said. “The unique look and the green nature of the service makes it appealing.”
Instagram and Twitter have been helpful to the business, Esposito said, as riders spread photos of the vehicles on social media — giving advertisers even more bang for their buck.
The vehicles, which have roofs but are open to the air, must stay on roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or below, since their maximum speed is between 25 and 30 miles per hour.
Esposito said the Southampton Village route is tentatively scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. The schedule may change based on need, he added.
Their plans call for having four vehicles in Southampton running the route, which will include a stop at the Southampton railroad station when a train is arriving.
In summer 2012, the price to park at Coopers Beach was $40 per day or $350 for the season — so free dropoff and pickup may be appealing and valuable for visitors to the village.