Miami Beach 411
Like what you see? Let's talk about how
we can help your vacation --> Contact Us
  • Homepage
  • Plan Your Trip
  • Travel Forum
  • News & Events
  • Maps
  • Transportation
  • Tours
  • Hotels
  • Travel Tips
  • Reader's Reviews
  • News Archives
  • Need help? Call us! - 1-305-754-2206

Swoop Miami: The fun free way to get around South Beach

A fun free taxi service around South Beach
January 10, 2012 By Jess in Miami: Travel NewsMiami: Things to Do  | 10 Comments

image

Swoop Miami is the new taxi service in South Beach that promises you a free ride, anywhere you want to go. Driven by eco-friendly electric golf carts, they collect passengers from 1st -24th street and between Ocean Drive and Bay Road, covering all of South Beach. All you have to do is tip your driver.

HOW IT BEGAN

The concept of the free taxi service was first seen on college campuses to get drunk students home safely at the end of the evening. However Swoop Miami is the first company to take the idea off campus and put it into a city and out on the busy streets.

image

Alex Smith is the brains behind Swoop and he created the company while working a full time job. When Swoop first began he would work his day shift and then go out in the evenings to drive the first Swoop customers. This was his test phase for the company to see if Swoop could work. Six months later with the company growing rapidly in popularity, he quit his day job and went to work full time at Swoop. The company now operates 3 vehicles and employs 5 drivers: himself plus Adam Libinati, Eric Stevens, Greg Elsner, and Omarie Williams.

image
Swoop Miami owner Alex Smith talking to passengers

The company makes their money from the advertisements on the Swoop golf carts, ensuring a free ride for all the passengers. Swoop will only accept advertisers that share their core values, so you will only see products that are all natural and eco-friendly on the side of the carts.

image
Advertising on the Swoop golf cart

image

HOW IT WORKS

It is very easy to use Swoop. Simply call their number and tell them where you would like to be picked up. The driver gives an approximate wait time and the Swoop car will come to collect you. They will drive you to wherever you want to go in South Beach.

Swoop operates 7 days a week, 1pm until at least 2am, but if they are busy they will keep driving until the calls stop coming. Saturday nights they are known to be out till 5:30am picking up the last of their customers. They drive in sunshine or rain, and never turn down a pick up. The only time they do not drive is during flooding or a hurricane.

image
Alex Smith driving passengers on New Years Eve

When the cart pulls up to pick you up, don’t forget to call “Swoop Swoop!”. This is the unofficial catchphrase of the company that you hear regularly from Swoop fans as you drive along. It is a completely free taxi service but the drivers work only for tips, so don’t forget to tip your driver!

WHO USES SWOOP

Currently the company receives around 70 calls a day. The local residents account for 65% of the calls and many are regular customers. Some are known to use it daily, even up to three times a day. Swoop regularly take people to and from the grocery store, work places, hotels, nightclubs, on dates and one passenger takes it to her weekly AA meeting. The drivers know their regular passengers, and have been known to drop people home when they are too drunk to remember where they live!

image
A Swoop passenger stops off at the ATM

WHY SWOOPING IS FUN

Swoop is fast becoming the number one choice of getting round South Beach, and for good reason. The drivers are always friendly, smiling and happy, playing music as they drive round. The open air seating lets you interact with people out on the street, and as Swoop is very well known in the community, it is normal to drive by people who call out to the car, greeting it with “Swoop Swoop!” But most importantly, it’s fun! Swoop has no taxi meter to watch, no crazy cab driver breaking the speed limit, you can meet people from your own neighborhood or tourists enjoying the city, and it’s a very relaxing way to arrive at your destination.

image

So if you are reading this to help you get around during your Miami vacation, or you live here and need to get somewhere on the beach without the hassle of expensive parking, give Swoop a call. You can expect a free, fun ride, and to arrive at your destination with a big smile on your face.

Swoop Miami
305-409-6636
www.swoopmiami.com

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News, Miami: Things to Do,

A SoBe resident for 5 years, Jess’s writing focuses on healthy living in South Beach with a dose of British humor and a cheerful outlook on life in Miami. She can be found moderating the forum Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Jess.

See more articles by Jess

Was This Post Helpful? Please Share It With Others!

You Deserve More Than an Ordinary Vacation.
Travel with Miami Beach 411 Today!
  • Over 10 years of excellent service guiding tours. Awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
  • Large fleet of new motor coaches, tour buses, and luxury vans. Technology you won't find anywhere.
  • Highly skilled, professional drivers and guides. From people who love what they do.
The Miami Beach 411 Travel Store is Open 24/7.
Search for Tours & Transportation

10 Comments on

"Swoop Miami: The fun free way to get around South Beach"

rk says:

Very nice, thanks. Do you know what the average wait is?

Posted on 01/14/2012 at 8:13 PM

jess says:

It truly depepnds on where you are in relation to where the Swoop cart is. I have waited less than a minute, other times 15. They let you know when you call how long they will be.

Posted on 01/15/2012 at 7:00 PM

michelle says:

I love your article, Jess, and the service is awesome!

Thumbs up to Alex for starting an innovative company that is eco-friendly, cost effective and super convenient!

Posted on 01/16/2012 at 8:50 AM

Mirna says:

Thank you, Jess! I can’t wait to try this cool service.

Posted on 01/18/2012 at 8:00 AM

J_Val says:

This is great! cant wait to use it when I go in March. Couple of questions though, what would be considered an average tip for the drivers?? Also is this only call-in service or can you flag one down on the street??

Posted on 02/03/2012 at 1:15 PM

Jess says:

It is a call in service as they usually have a short list of their next pick up. However, I have seen themt drive past before and immediately called them and they have swung back to collect me.
Tip depends on how many, where you are going and what you feel is appropriate!

Posted on 02/03/2012 at 2:01 PM

stacy says:

Sorry but I would really like to know actually how much to tip them. Like $1? $10? $100.Service charge is normally included in uk so i have nooooo idea. Thanks!

Posted on 03/04/2012 at 5:56 AM

Jess says:

Hi Stacy,

It really is up to you. It depends on how far they are taking you, did you have a fun time (of course you will, it is Swoop!), did they go out of their way to pick you up quickly etc.

The last time I swooped, they picked me up from a bar and I reeeeally wanted to go via my apartment to pick up something. The driver Omarie went out of the way to do that and then take me to the next bar. On a busy Friday night. So that was a bigger tip than normal tip from me. Plus, if there is 3 or 4 of you in the group, you have pretty much taken all the seats so leave a bigger tip.

I don’t think $1 is enough, but it is a ‘free’ ride, so think what you’d tip in the UK for a cab ride and maybe double or triple it. A tip for me would start at around $5 each ride, depending on where I am going and when. If they pick me and my friends up quickly and make time for us, then we tip way more than that.

Posted on 03/04/2012 at 11:03 AM

jim says:

I’m sorry, but the last two times I was in South Beach I called SWOOP more than a few times… and nothing! No one answered the phone, no one called back. BS!

Posted on 11/11/2014 at 12:27 AM

Jim says:

and yes, I was within their area, and it was during their posted hours of operation…

Posted on 11/11/2014 at 12:29 AM

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated for spam. An administrator must approve the comment before it will appear on the site.

Discuss the surrounding area in our hugely popular Miami forum.
Today's Miami Specials
Like what you see? Let's talk about
how we can help your vacation
--> Contact Us