SANTA MONICA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU AND SANTA MONICA FREE RIDE PARTNER WITH HOTELS TO LAUNCH SHUTTLE PROGRAM

Electric vehicles provide eco-friendly transportation alternative

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (May 27, 2014) – Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) today announced its partnership with Santa Monica Free Ride on the launch of the Santa Monica Shuttle, a free hotel-sponsored service that will transport riders to Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Main Street, and Montana Avenue. The Santa Monica Shuttle consists of three electric vehicles wrapped in Santa Monica destination branding that will be regularly available at Shutters on the Beach Hotel, Double Tree Santa Monica Suites and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. The service runs seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m., later on weekends and for special events.

As with Santa Monica Free Ride’s existing service of electric vehicles, the Santa Monica Shuttle is not exclusive to visitors. Any pedestrian can flag down the three hotel-sponsored vehicles to be transported within the service area. SMCVB hopes to expand the program with additional hotel properties sponsoring in the next year.

“Even though 80% of visitors prefer to walk once they’ve arrived in Santa Monica, we are always looking for new ways that encourage visitors to go car-free,” said Santa Monica CEO/President Misti Kerns. “We are thrilled to partner with Santa Monica Free Ride to provide a fun, free and eco-friendly service that not only enhances our destination experience, but also frees up busy parking lots, reduces environmental impacts to our community and delivers visitors directly to our amazing local businesses.”

“SMCVB has been very supportive since we set our sights on expanding to Santa Monica and we couldn’t be happier to partner directly with them on this unique program,” said Santa Monica Free Ride Founder Jason Bagley. “It strengthens our overall presence in the market and creates a great balance of serving visitors and locals alike.”

About Free Ride
The Free Ride is an environmentally friendly shuttle service that uses GEM electric vehicles. The service is supported by sponsors and is completely free to ride. Currently, the operation is available in the Hamptons, Santa Monica, and South Florida, where riders can flag a Free Ride down and hop on and off as they wish. Often passengers will even walk away with a free water, giveaway or discounts to a local business. For more information visit www.thefreeride.com or email Jason Bagley at Jason@santamonicafreeride.com. Follow Santa Monica Free Ride on Twitter and Instagram @samofreeride.

About Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau
Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call 800-544-5319 or 310-393-7593; visit www.santamonica.com; or email info@santamonica.com. Follow SMCVB on Twitter @GoSantaMonica or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitsantamonica.

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Contact: Jackie Alvarez
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
310-319-6263
jalvarez@santamonica.com