City leaders announced the launch of a free shuttle system for downtown San Diego on Tuesday, which will, at first, consist of 15 five-person electric vehicles.
The program – dubbed “Free Ride Everywhere Downtown” or “FRED” – is aimed at providing more efficient and sustainable transit options in the busy downtown area. The five-passenger electric vehicles in the FRED fleet will make short trips within downtown neighborhoods. That fleet is expected to grow to 20 vehicles within the first year of the program.
The program, according to the City of San Diego, will initially be funded by downtown parking meter revenues and is a collaborative project from Civic San Diego and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discussed FRED in detail at a news conference Tuesday morning, accompanied by Civic San Diego president Reese A. Jarrett and Kris Mitchell, president and CEP of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
“Sometimes it’s not all that easy to find a convenient parking or a trolley spot nearby,” Mayor Faulconer said.
He says the program is environmentally friendly and will help San Diego reach a goal to cut our carbon footprint by 2020.
“Now with the ease of just a few taps on your smartphone, San Diegans and visitors can request a free ride anywhere from East Village to Little Italy," he said.
Fittingly, the mayor, Jarrett and Mitchell arrived at the news conference in FRED vehicles. The City of San Diego said this shuttle program is the first of its size in a major metropolitan city.