In terms of Charleston, Sean Flood is fairly new to town, but he’s peddling something even fresher: electric cars and bike shares. Sean started GOTCHA Ride in 2009 out of Atlanta and ran it for four years there before relocating to Charleston for its appealing coastal and urban lifestyle. GOTCHA stands for Green Operated Transportation Carrying Humanity Around, and the company originated as a fleet of branded electric vehicles on college campuses. Rides are completely free (though tips for drivers are welcome!) and riders often receive a sample provided by the brand sponsoring the ride – think ice-cold Coca-Cola or a Bear Naked granola. The company operates GOTCHA Ride at Florida State University, University of Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Arizona State University, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and University of South Carolina.
Meanwhile the company’s bike-share segment, GOTCHA Bike, currently has 17 locations in operation including Auburn, Northern Kentucky University, and the Savannah College of Art and Design and will rollout locally, too. “We are planning to launch the City of Charleston bike share by year end with 250 bikes on the peninsula,” says Sean, “Launching our first GOTCHA Bike system at Auburn University in January after two years of research and development work was such a proud moment for me. To see our team’s hard work and dedication come to life was amazing.”
For Sean, the two modes of transportation – electric vehicle and bike share options – are the hallmark of his work. “Sustainability and alternative transportation are paramount to me and part of our mission statement,” says Sean. “Our hope is to provide flexible transportation options to consumers while providing platforms for brands to reach their targeted consumer in a fun fashion.”
By partnering with companies to sponsor vehicles or bike shares, Sean is able to pair supportive, sustainability-minded brands with an open-minded audience. “So far, the feedback has been great. Brands are looking for cutting-edge ways to actually connect, and users want affordable, fun transportation. GOTCHA create the perfect partnership.”