This winter, Queen City residents and visitors will be able to travel for free in between the entertainment-focused Center City; First, Second, Third, and Fourth Wards; and the South End in electric GEST golf carts. GEST Carts – which stands for Green Easy Safe Transportation, is debuting its Charlotte service on Friday, December 17, with the company offering free rides throughout uptown and South End.
The on-demand, free GEST Carts operate similar to car transportation services like Uber or Lyft. Charlotte riders can “call” a cart through a mobile app – downloadable through the Apple Store and Google Play Store – that tracks driver locations and estimated arrival times. The vehicles are able to drive on main roads, keeping with the flow of traffic – but in a much more sustainable and enjoyable way than traditional transportation.
The company currently has locations in Chicago, Cincinatti, Detroit, Denver and Las Vegas, but the Charlotte launch is particularly meaningful for GEST Carts co-founder Patrick Dye and Charlotte franchise owner Corey Johnson who are both natives of the Queen City.
“Bringing GEST Carts to Charlotte is a dream come true because Charlotte will always be home to me,” Dye explained. “Our carts provide an easy, free, and environmentally-friendly way to get around. Our presence in Charlotte made great buisness sense because there’s so much to do in Uptown and the surrounding entertainment areas.”
Dye graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Johnson attended North Carolina State University and University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After spending 20 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of manufacturing, engineering, business planning, and scaled operations roles, Johnson decided to invest in Charlotte by opening the only GEST Carts franchise in the state.
“I always look for opportunities to invest in solid companies focused on doing good, and there’s an unlimited ceiling with GEST,” Johnson says. “The carts are always free and will provide a fun transportation option for people looking to explore my hometown, yet they have minimal impact on the environment — so that’s a win-win.”
The GEST Carts Charlotte franchise will bring about 30 to 40 jobs to the Queen City that will include drivers, mechanics and additional support staff. GerikTodd is GEST Charlotte’s General Manager.
GEST Rides are available at no cost to riders – offset from sponsors who advertise on the carts themselves through the backlit LED roof rack or the vinyl wrapping of the carts’ exterior.
For more information about GEST Carts – including sponsorship opportunities – visit https://www.gestcarts.com/ and stay connected on Instagram @gestcharlotte and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Gestcharlotte.