FREe-CARRIAGES offers a modern, environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and innovative alternative called the electric horseless carriage (“e-carriage”) to replace the inhumane and hazardous horse-drawn carriages. The UnTours Foundation’s investment allowed for the purchase of the electric carriage, which will be the first e-carriage to ever appear on the streets of a large US city.
FREe-CARRIAGES’ Origin Story:
Entrepreneur and activist Janet White, a native Philadelphian, saw horses pulling carriages on Center City streets since she was a child. It always pained her to see these animals struggling, looking tired and defeated. So in 2017 she created an animal advocacy organization called Carriage Horse Freedom to ensure a legislative ban on horse-drawn carriages. Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla, whose district encompassed the carriage operation, requested a “viable alternative” before introducing legislation to prohibit the carriages. Janet believed that electric horseless carriages would provide an appropriate alternative.
The City of Mount Dora in Florida became the first US city to allow the operation of electric carriages. On a visit to Mount Dora in February, Janet was able to purchase an “as-is” carriage at a reduced price. With the support of the UnTours Foundation, the carriage is being delivered to Philadelphia in May and will be modified to meet strict federal safety standards. The electric carriage will be displayed at the Welcome America Philadelphia Independence Day Parade before being used for historical tours and private events.
Janet is also exploring the possibility of establishing an electric carriage manufacturing/assembly plant in the Philadelphia region to meet the high demand for e-carriages. She is also exploring working with certified sanctuaries to ensure the safety and well-being of any displaced carriage horses, with a long-term vision of establishing a sanctuary for retired carriage horses.
When asked about her greatest inspiration, Janet said, “My mother’s example inspired me to do all that I could to get the e-carriage – a combination of the ethical and the artistic – on Philly streets, to finally provide the viable alternative necessary to ensure a ban on horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia. She was a strong, artistic and compassionate woman who stood up against cruelty of all kinds. She taught me to challenge the status quo, and when something important needed to be done, to find a way or make one.”
How FREe-CARRIAGES is Changing the World:
FREEe-CARRIAGES offers an innovative, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free alternative for tourist travel in Philadelphia, and is working to ensure a legislative ban on horse drawn carriages in Philadelphia and other US cities. Janet hopes that cities around the world will emulate this project, freeing many horses.
How you can Connect with FREe-CARRIAGES:
“This is a grassroots project,” says Janet, “which has been able to launch solely due to the vision and generosity of the UnTours Foundation. We have a tremendous opportunity to move forward – we’ve been invited to participate in the Welcome America Philadelphia Independence Day Parade, which would give the e-carriage great visibility, and already have business lined up for later this year.” In order to be ready to shine on July 4th, to show the world this vehicle which could spare countless animals needless suffering, they must raise funds which will cover the immediate expenses involved in modifying the e-carriage to conform with the strictest federal safety regulations. Janet’s animal advocacy organization Carriage Horse Freedom, from which FREe-CARRIAGES was born, is gratefully accepting donations for these modifications. As their fiscal sponsor, contributions to the Philly E-Carriage Project can be made directly through our One-Time Gifts donation option, or by mailing a check payable to the “UnTours Foundation” marking that it is for Philly E-Carriage Project.
Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 405
Media, PA 19063