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Access For Healthy Transportation

The AHT program will provide used electric vehicles to qualifying applicants for participation in an inclusive rideshare program.

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TxETRA (Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance), a growing statewide organization, would facilitate awarding 8 candidates with used electric vehicles for use in a rideshare program such as RideAustin. The vehicles are intended for use by the candidate in producing income through the rideshare program, as well as personal use. Participants will have the option to commit a percentage of income gained to paying down on the permanent purchase of the vehicle. Participants will be required to contribute a percentage of their drive time to transport an elderly or disabled member of their community to health and other health-related services, as outlined by the Ford Mobility Study. In partnership with the City of Austin and the preferred rideshare partner, TxETRA will design the business model to grow over time, adding more candidates and distributing more vehicles.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

In partnership with Council Member Renteria and community organizations such as Austin Justice Coalition, Measure Austin and GAVA, TxETRA will identify 8 candidates from four communities in the Eastern Crescent whose annual income is less than $50,000 and who have no vehicle or an older, pollution-emitting vehicle. Promotion will focus on communities of color, including outreach to churches and neighborhood organizations and advertising in appropriate publications. We will design a sign-up program to be safe for and include immigrants. To prevent unintended negative consequences, participation will include active communication with and feedback from participants so that the solution can iterate and improve. We also envision contracting other organizations such as the Environmental Justice department at Huston-Tillotson to provide analysis of our program over time. Low cost of ownership that comes with driving electric should benefit participants in numerous ways financially.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have not tested our idea with users. However, proof of concept does exist. Similar models are gaining traction in the ridesharing industry. However, many are not designed to fully benefit underserved communities, because they do not take a holistic approach to the needs of these communities. We want to use the Ford Mobility research to do just that. partners include Austin Energy, used car dealers, Texas Association of CommunityDevelopment Corporations, and rideshare companies like Uber.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

The Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance is a non-profit group of Utilities, manufacturers, charging companies and environmentalists. We are developing the policies needed to electrify Texas’s transportation system. Equity is one of our core principles and we have been in discussion with community development corporations and low cost lenders to develop a program to take advantage of the lower cost of ownership and operational cost of electric vehicles. We have over 500 members.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

We would spend 80%, or 80,000 of the budget on used electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure. We expect to spend approximately $10,000 per vehicle to serve 8 participants. The remaining $20,000 will be spent on administrative and promotional costs. $10,000 would be allocated to a part time staff, and $10,000 would be spent in advertising and contracting community partners led by people of color to assist with community outreach. We already have relationships with several.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

TxETRA plans to use this as an opportunity to gain insight into the real world challenges involved in having electric transportation accessible to underserved and low income communities. We plan to use our extensive network and the members of our robust Equity Committee to make the most of this opportunity. Additionally, as we gain insights into the benefits and challenges of our solution, and as we build relationships with the participants in the program, we fully expect many opportunities to share information with municipalities, public utilities, charging companies, dealerships and public officials throughout the State of Texas.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Through relationship building and community-driven evaluation, we plan to work community partners to design sensitive and social responsible interview and surveys to track our results. Most importantly, we plan to build strong relationships with our participants, who we hope will assist us in building the project into and through its next phases.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Designing the financial model for sustainability will be an iterative process. That said, the financial model will built upon a few foundational requirements: 1) a percentage of funding from the rideshare activity will go back into program revenue; 2) a percentage of ridesharing will include pro-bono rides for the elderly or disabled; 3) the breakdown of income will be a fair rate and include an option to buy the vehicle. Additionally, we have a network with potential sponsors.

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