The Nickel Ride suspends service at all locations

It turns out free adds up.

The Nickel Ride Founder Judah Longgear confirmed the business is indefinitely suspending its free transportation service at all its city locations in Florida Monday.

The business offered free rides seven days a week to people in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and St. Petersburg. However, the only funding the business received was through advertisers. The demand for rides exceeded expectations, and it was becoming too expensive for the business to operate that way.

“I think we’ve been a small but mighty team in regards with what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Longgear said. “Definitely sad in regards to pausing it. But we’re definitely motivated around building for the next stage of the company and continuing to improve our product and service.”

While their vehicles will be off the streets, the business isn’t done for good. Longgear said it’s going through a transition period and launching a new pilot program called Nickel Wraps. Instead of advertising on the small vehicles, they’ll advertise with people who already do ride sharing.

“There’s a lot of those drivers out there are looking to make more money,” Longgear said. “So we’re actually working with them now on a pilot program to advertise on their vehicles or within their vehicles, so that will be the full focus on the business going forward.”

That means outfitting their vehicles with advertising wraps or TVs on the inside.

Longgear said current advertisers will either be refunded or transitioned to the new program.

“We’re working with them on transitioning to the new model,” Longgear said. “Really at the end of the day that’s the big driver behind this was providing the best product to our advertisers. Again, that’s how we made all of our money.”

Reporter:Amanda Hall
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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