FIU in collaboration with Freebee is providing students with no-cost trips in six Tesla Model Xs around MMC and to nearby locales. The goal of the service is to create a community where students can live and work without owning a car, and ride when necessary with environmentally friendly vehicles.
Freebee began providing Florida International University (FIU) students with free rides to and from MMC. Panthers who do not own cars and those who want to use their gasoline vehicles less often can take advantage of the simple and free option to travel short distances to and from MMC. With the new update, students will now ride in style. The Freebee service, which already provided free rides for FIU students, has replaced its open electric shuttles with a fleet of six Tesla Model Xs, according to FIU News.
“The Tesla Freebee rides are great for our students,” said Tom Hartley, assistant vice president of Parking & Transportation at FIU. “Not everybody has a car, and car ownership is expensive, especially in Miami. It is critical for us to help provide a community where you can live and work and not have to have a car.”
The fred on-demand transportation service is available to the entire FIU community through the Ride Freebee app. Trips up to three miles, if they start or end at MMC or the Engineering Center, cost nothing. When using the service, traffic congestion and harmful emissions from gasoline car exhausts are reduced. Hartley expects up to a 30 percent increase in current Freebee rides after the addition of the stylish Tesla vehicles.
The new electric vehicles are also in line with the university's goal of reducing its carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable campus environment. FIU has installed 16 electric vehicle charging stations at MMC, BBC, and the Engineering Centre, available for a nominal fee of $1 per hour. In addition, if there is a need, the university plans to add more. There are also 11 free tire inflation stations.
“It's really all about safety, comfort, productivity and efficiency,” Hartley said. “Being able to keep folks on campus safe is huge, especially when you don’t know what the weather will do next.”
Aaliyah Mesidort, a junior who studies biology and has frequently used Freebee, loves the service. “Freebee is very convenient for people who don’t have cars, especially when they’re trying to go do grocery shopping. It definitely takes a load off your back,” she said. “The Teslas make it even better: they have air conditioning, can go on the main roads, look cooler and are still free.”
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