March 23, 2011

A Free Ride To The Beach

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Remember all those times when you couldn't find a parking space at the beach?

Remember when the guy with the whistle told you since you didn't have a parking permit you needed to buy one for, like, 300 smackers?

Worse, remember when you'd return to the parking lot after a nice swim and find out your car was towed away?

Don't worry, be happy.

Three young local entrepreneurs, Alex Esposito of Springs, Jaymes Westfall of Amagansett, and James Mirras of Montauk have teamed up to form Hamptons Free Ride, and the name of the company means what it says – free rides to the beach, all day long, all summer. The trio has already gotten approval to begin this season in East Hampton Town.

"There is an inconvenience [getting to the beach] we're looking to relieve," Esposito said. The company has already ordered three high tech, 100 percent electric eco-friendly vehicles. Esposito hopes to put as many as nine on the road, and hopes to expand the series beyond East Hampton.

He said Southampton Town officials "will definitely be approached in the future" and that "Westhampton Beach has already reached out to us."

The company will pay for the service by selling full video commercials that will be streamed inside the car and also space on the outside of the vehicles.

The three friends all have backgrounds in business. After attending East Hampton High School Mirras and Esposito went to University of Florida and Bentley University respectively. After graduation Mirras began working for Morgan Stanley in New York City while Alex pursued his MBA. Today, they live two blocks from each other in Manhattan but still spend as much time in East Hampton as possible.

Westfall graduated with honors from the Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned a degree in Film and Television and Sound Engineering. His media work and experience is extensive. Westfall has produced award-winning commercials for Coca Cola and Pepsi through his production company The Video Cloud. The trio feels their collective skills are ideal to launch a start-up company that will prove successful.

The busses will run pre-determined loops, from beach to beach in Montauk, for example, and to Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett. The company hopes to get permission to go to East Hampton Village Main Beach as well. Those interested in rides will probably use municipal parking – some of the Hamptons Ride vehicles will probably be equipped with bike racks, as well as surf racks and will have adequate trunk space for day-trippers to store their goods. More information about the routes, and advertising, can be gleaned at www.hamptonsfreeride.com

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