.

Free Shuttle to Coopers Beach Debuts Saturday

Electric vehicle will loop from beach to Main Street in Southampton Village all summer long.

If you don't live in Southampton Village, parking at can run you as much as $40 per day or $350 for the season, but a new shuttle service offered by village natives will drop you off and pick you up at Coopers this summer for a price that's much easier to swallow: Free.

As lifeguards go on duty at 9 a.m. Saturday, Chris and Stacy Dimon, the husband-and-wife founders of SpotRides, will offer their first free ride to the beach. It starts on Main Street and goes on a 6-mile loop, taking approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The shuttle will operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, at least until two weeks after Labor Day, Stacy Dimon said. On weekends, the shuttle will hit the streets again in the evening, to offer rides between village restaurants and hotspots.

The shuttle is a neighborhood electric vehicle, or NEV, Dimon explained. “It is a 100 percent electric vehicle, and we’re actually planning on adding solar panels that will keep it charged up a little longer, so it’s very green, very environmentally friendly.”

NEVs, which fit a driver plus five riders, can go 25 miles per hour, but are legal on streets with limits up to 35 miles per hour, she said.

As of now, SpotRides' only two drivers are Stacy and Chris, and they hope to keep two NEVs on the road most of the day.

Their slogan is, “Take a ride, on us."

The shuttle is advertiser supported; Dimon said that the exterior of the NEVs will be wrapped in ads, and a screen inside the shuttle will show static ads or video commercials from local business.

“We’re really looking forward to being out there and helping other local business get their name out in front of as many local people who come out for the summer as possible,” Dimon said.

The couple currently live in Hampton Bays, but are Southampton Village natives. In fact, they are high school sweethearts who graduated together from in 2002.

They have two existing businesses, , in Hampton Bays, and SafeHampton Childproofing and Home Safety.

Meanwhile, in the town of East Hampton, Hamptons Free Ride, a similar beach shuttle service, will , and begin in Montauk for the first time.

Dimon said that the idea to start SpotRides in Southampton actually predates Hamptons Free Ride's arrival on the South Fork — she and Chris first saw such a shuttle in Florida a couple years ago. “We thought that would be a great idea to have here,” she said.

The shuttles can be found elsewhere as well, including in college towns to discourage drinking a driving, Dimon said.

“Here especially, it's going to be great for people in the village who don’t have a beach sticker, for people that didn’t know Coopers Beach was named the number one beach in America a couple years ago," she said.

  • RELATED:

Dimon said they are interested in seeing SpotRides expand locally to Westhampton Beach Village, and also setting up shop in Clearwater Beach, Fla., during the Hamptons off-season.

Jerry Can May 25, 2012 at 07:43 PM
So people who pay not taxes to the Village or Town of Southampton, in principle, will get to use its beach and parks facilities for free while the tax payers that support the upkeep and maintenance of these foot the bill so that Chris and Stacy can sell advertizing and likewise benefit from the beaches gratis?
Hay Farmer May 25, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Hattrick will build them a $15 million shower pavillion, too. When you wonder where responsible government went, don't look to the Hamptons!
charles dimon May 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM
The service is open for everyone to use , even the local yokels who sell hay.The advertisers are the ones who will benefit from the service.
The Beav May 26, 2012 at 12:21 AM
For all the revenue the village loses, the operator should be paying the village "per person" or else we'll have to charge everyone 'by the day" for use of the beach.
Doug Dimon May 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
What about the people who walk to the beach? Or ride their bikes, or take a taxi, or ride with a friend. We should charge them as well. Why should ANYONE be able to enjoy "OUR" beaches without paying? I hope you caught my sarcasm. What is wrong with people to take a positive thing and make it negative. Get over yourselves! Coopers is one stop among many. As if Southampton uses any of the money it recieves on "beautification" or upkeep. Sidewalks are a mess roads are worse. Where is OUR money going should be the question!
Voice May 26, 2012 at 05:43 PM
WOW..I agree the beaches are for everyone and there are other beaches that are FREE that all can go to. but what's wrong with Coopers Beach being a special beach..other towns have one special beach. Coopers Beach is overall revenue that does helps/offsets cost in the Village..if you don't like this beautiful Village perhaps you can find a better place that suits your life. But if not stay and NJOY and try looking at the positive side NEGATIVE IS NASTY.
Ellen Bemes May 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I think $40.00 a day is an awflul lot of money to pay to enjoy a gift that was given to us for free.. and parking is limited. It is a great service. We have the free shuttle in Clearwater and it works beautifully. It gives people the chance to go from one end of Mandalay to another in a fun atmosphere...especially if you have a few little ones in toe.
Fred 'n Freeda May 26, 2012 at 06:44 PM
"OUR" money? You live in Hampton Bays, buddy. You've only come to SHV to line your pockets with money from our visitors. You should pay for that priviledge just like stores pay rent.
Doris Dimon May 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM
AWESOME! So happy that it will cut down on the Village traffic, and enable evryone to enjoy at least ONE stop on your route, yes Coopers Beach..I bet the vendor there is pleased. Thank you to Southampton Village/ Southampton Town for their support in this endeavor. From kids who actually GREW UP in Southampton Village
Arthur AndersEn May 27, 2012 at 03:10 AM
People always have and always will , take taxi's to the beach , in droves .and some people will always want to have their car on hand . Not everyone is going to use this service . The Village is not going to pay them for this . Their only compensation is thru advertising . I have no problem with that . I say go for it .
Arthur AndersEn May 27, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Doug , When did you move to Hampton Bays ?
Arthur AndersEn May 27, 2012 at 03:21 AM
People already do that , they've been using our beaches for years . Taxi services drop people off every day . Next time you're at the beach , count them . Chris and Stacy are pretty much doing the same thing , in 'green' vehicles no less and looking to sell advertising as compensation . I'm good with that .
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) May 27, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Did anyone ride the shuttle Saturday? How was it?
The Beav May 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM
It's not staffed for free, cleaned for free and the lifeguards are not free. The parking lot was not sent by the Beach Goddess, nor are the attendants and security guards. It's paid for by MY real estate taxes. In Westhampton, you have to pay just to walk onto the beach with your towel and flip-flops...chairs are extra, as they are here.
Anthony S May 27, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I came in from NY yesterday with my two boys and got a free ride to the park. It was a great experience. The rides are not just to Coopers but to lots of locations in the village. It's paid for by local advertisers who benefit from the exposure during the ride. It's actually is a great way for businesses to get customers to visit their shops. Even the concession at Coopers benefits, which benefits the village. Get all the facts before you put it down as a bad thing. I plan to use it next time I'm out. I may even go to the beach.
Alice P May 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I also took a ride in this shuttle. Just went from Jobs Lane to Main St. but was impressed with the idea. Why do people have to be so negative about anything new before they try it?
SH BUSINESS OWNER May 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Why are we giving away rides? The village and towns rely on Tax money and parking money for upkeep at te beaches. Taxi's do drop people off, but as taxis the drivers each pay for a hack license. The vehicles pay for vehicle license and the Business owner pays $750 fro business license all revenue that goes to the government. Not to say by giving free rides they are taking away from the Taxi drivers that live local and rely on the fares to support their families. And the drivers do live local and spend money locally. So lets get this straight Taxis pay license fees to drop off at the beach the drivers spend money locally but now only the Dimons are takiung money out of locals mouths and businesses and not paying license fee's ad giving people free rides from the village taking them away from the local businesses... Sounds like they just want the advertising money!!!!
SH BUSINESS OWNER May 27, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Taxi's Do drop people off every day at the beaches, but they pay the town for the right so the town makes revenue from drivers hack licenses, vehicle licenses and business owners licenses. The drivers rely on the fares to support their family and local businesses schools and restaurants. Why are we giving away rides for free and hurting people that live here year round!
chris May 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM
SpotRides is not intended to take money from the village at all. In fact, the idea is to bring more people throughout the village shopping district & bring more revenue to village businesses. As well as to give tourists & locals a new reason to shop in the village & to give businesses the opportunity to advertise to the riders. It is also a great way to help out environmentally by the using NEV's. The main advantage is to get more people to utilize the muni-lots and ease traffic conditions on Main St & Jobs Lane. It is not a reason for people planning to go to the beach to forgo buying a beach sticker but if your in the village & want to check out the beach it's great way to introduce Coopers to visitors who may not know about it. Coopers is one stop among 11, 6 of which are at or near muni-lots. The shuttle is free to make it more enticing for people to want to park in the municipal lots rather then drive around 3 or 4 times until a spot opens up on Main St. The drivers we hire will all be local people who spend money locally as well. It does not take the place of a taxi as it runs a specific route and doesn't pick up from homes nor does it take reservations. However, you can count on it to be at a designated "SpotStop" every 20-30 minutes. Having come from a family that has been in Southampton for over 200 years & having grown up here we thought this would be a unique way to showcase our beautiful village! Before you judge, Come Take a Ride, On Us!
Roger Blaugh May 28, 2012 at 01:46 AM
It doesn't cost anything to try it for the summer. Let's all get onboard and go for a ride before we judge the pros or cons. What a great weekend. Enjoy the fine weather!!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »