Wellington Expands Senior Ride Program

Wellington Expands Senior Ride Program New Freebee Program Offers A Convenient Alternative Transportation Service For Senior Citizens From Wellington

Wellington’s new agreement with Freebee offers a more convenient transportation service for senior citizens in Wellington. Wellington’s seniors now have access to this free program, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Since 2010, the Village of Wellington has provided a limited transportation program for senior residents 62 years of age and older. In an effort to expand this program and its services, the village recently received proposals from interested firms to provide alternative transportation services using a ride-share-type system.

The ride-share transportation service includes the following: Monday through Saturday service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. using two fully electric vehicles with unlimited rides. There is a mobile app with an option to request service via dispatch/call-in. The program offers door-to-door, on-demand service; a custom dashboard with the ability to display performance metrics in real time; and single or shared-use service.

Freebee replaced Wellington’s previous senior transportation program, which often carried around 10 people per day. Now, two Freebee cars serve between 20 and 30 people per day. The initial term of the contract began on May 1, 2024, for a three-year initial term, and provides for five one-year renewal options.

Freebee is a free electric-car service funded by the village’s Parks & Recreation Department. All rides must generally be within the village limits, but the cars will travel as far north as Southern Blvd. and as far south as Lake Worth Road. Riders must be at least 55 years old and Wellington residents.

Freebee, which was created by two University of Miami graduates, serves many municipalities in South Florida. The company calls their drivers “ambassadors” because they’re expected to be friendly, welcoming and talkative with the riders.

Riders can order a car through the Freebee app, or by calling a centralized dispatch. Unlike the popular ride-share apps Uber and Lyft, there isn’t a way to see reviews for local drivers. The app has a feature where riders can post photos and reviews, however, they aren’t specific to any driver or service area.

Wellington’s Freebee cars are Tesla Model X electric vehicles. A phone app makes calling a car similar to the procedure for Uber and Lyft, but rides are free.

“It’s convenient, it’s free, you’re having fun and smiling,” said Jason Spiegel, co-founder of the company. “We are short-distance, inter-municipality transportation that provides high ridership at a lower cost for cities because our clean-energy vehicles require less maintenance and no gas, compared to trolleys and buses or traditional car services.”

This new village transportation ride service, in partnership with Freebee, provides an increased level of service. It is a free shuttle service for Wellington residents age 55 and older offering unlimited door-to-door pick-ups and drop-offs in these new Tesla Model X vehicles.

Residents who use the program no longer need to provide the previously required 24-hour notice. Rides can be scheduled for same-day service with an average wait time of 15 minutes. Commuters also have the added flexibility of scheduling their rides up to five days in advance, ensuring that they can plan their travel with ease and reliability.

The service area includes anywhere within the Wellington municipal boundaries, as well as HCA Florida Palms West Hospital and its surrounding medical offices, as well as along State Road 7 from Southern Blvd. to Lake Worth Road. Service hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Sunday.

Residents can sign up by visiting the Wellington Community Center for a one-time registration. Be sure to bring your ID and water or utility bill. Information can also be provided via e-mail to rides@wellingtonfl.gov.

To request a ride, residents should:

  1. Call the Freebee dispatch number at (855) 918-3733 or download the Freebee App.
  2. Request a pick-up.
  3. Enjoy the free ride.

Village staff is working on targeted outreach to seniors, including current senior transportation commuters. The outreach plan includes senior workshops, pre-registration of current riders via the Freebee portal and direct mailers. Additional marketing and promotion of the service throughout Wellington will be scheduled in conjunction with Freebee’s economic development team.

To learn more about the Freebee service, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/rides.