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New York Entrepreneurs Bring 'Free Ride' Idea To Denver

By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) - They say nothing in life is free… unless you're looking for a ride around downtown Denver.

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Cleverly named 'The Free Ride,' the company offers no-cost trips in a six-person electric shuttle. It's all thanks to advertisers who plaster their name and brand all over the car.

So, courtesy of Vita Coco, people can hitch a free ride almost anywhere downtown in the Mile High City.

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"You can take us for a ride to lunch, to dinner," Alyson Brown, Chief Marketing Officer for The Free Ride, said. "If you're getting off at Union Station and need to get to your hotel or vice versa, you can flag us down."

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The Free Ride all started as an idea from a couple of guys in New York looking to relieve parking issues for beach-goers in the Hamptons. It's since expanded to cities nationwide with several-car fleets, and now has an app to help commuters catch a ride.

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"The app launched as a way for riders to really use us as a last mile urban mobility solution," Brown explained. "With the last mile unsolved for public transportation, a lot of riders are hesitant to take a train or a bus to a downtown area, knowing they don't have any means to get to the place they're looking to go to. They may be more inclined then to take a car, which just leads to parking and congestion issues."

The app is not yet available in Denver, but there are three 'Free Ride' cars cruising downtown. They are available every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. this summer, but will hit the brakes come the end of August.

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"We hope by the end of that trial period we will get an idea of how the service is received by the community and what areas they'd like to see it in next," Brown told CBS4.

Brown also explained the company would like to talk with city officials about how they'd like to see The Free Ride expand, as well as other funding options.

For more information about The Free Ride, visit:

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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