Launched in October of 2016, Asheville has become home to the newest innovation in transportation services –Slidr.
Slidr, owned and operated by local entrepreneur Michael Trambino, is an eco-friendly company that provides free, short-distance rides in electric cars.
“Slidr is a last mile mobility solution — we take people where they need to go in a more efficient and eco-friendly way in and around the downtown core,” said Trambino. “It’s an extra convenience for residents and tourists, alike.”
Slidr operates using a fleet of electric vehicles run by five drivers, to provide transportation services, free of charge aside from tips to the driver, in the downtown core of Asheville, Montford, the 5 Points district, River Arts District (RAD), and Biltmore Village. Its western radius ends at the New Belgium Brewery and eastern radius ends at the Sky Loft and Hunt Hill apartments.
“When I was looking to start Slidr, I was looking for cities that had a growing need for more efficient ways of transportation, and that had parking and traffic problems. Asheville was the perfect place to get started. With all of the hills and trouble finding parking, everyone’s walking everywhere — it just seemed like a great opportunity. Plus, it helps with a key problem in connecting the three major areas of Asheville: RAD [River Arts District], Biltmore Village, and downtown,” said Trambino.
Rides are currently set up by contacting Slidr’s main telephone number,which is 828-275-1731, and telling the operator the pick up and destination locations, and the number of individuals who are in the party. Wait time averages between five and 10 minutes, depending on day, time of day, and other events going on in and around town.
The company operates from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, with a seasonal schedule that adjusts the hours slightly. Additionally, in the coming months, the company will launch a user-friendly app, similar to the interface used by popular transportation service Uber, for riders. The service is free, though it is still encouraged to tip the drivers.
“We differ [from other services] in the sense that we only use electric vehicles, and we only operate within a small radius of the downtown core. We only travel on roads that are 35 miles per hour and under… I believe we complement [other transportation companies]. Where we come in is when it’s too far to walk and too close for an Uber or a taxi,” said Trambino. “Also, taxi and Uber drivers want to take people on longer distance trips — not just up the street from Greenman Brewery to Patton Avenue, or from French Broad Chocolates to Bar Taco.”
To offset the costs of the rides, Slidr partners with local businesses by using their vehicles and social media platforms — including Facebook, Instagram, and their website www.rideslidr.com — as advertising platforms.
“Slidr is solving a growing need, not only for getting people around more efficiently, but it opens up an amazing avenue for local companies to advertise their product or service in an eco-friendly way… [We are] essentially a hospitality business because we’re interacting with folks constantly. We want them to enjoy the experience so the next time they think about going across town, to the grocery store, or out for dinner and a drink with friends, we want them to use Slidr,” said Trambino.
While Asheville is the first city for Slidr, they will open a second location in Naples, Florida in February, and have plans to expand beyond.
For more information about Slidr, visit www.rideslidr.com. Slidr is currently recruiting additional drivers that must be able to pass a background and MVR check. For advertising information with Slidr, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Whitney Cooper