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CBA's innovation to mobility in the Ford Impact Community

The CBA, local business and residents will create an innovate way to travel in the Ford Impact community.

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Our solution to increase mobility and connect people, places, and events in the "Ford Impact Community" would be to retro fit electric gulf carts to look like old Ford vehicles, like the Model T, or for multi row gulf carts to look like old trolleys. The carts would be also retro fitted with a solar panel on top to keep the cart charged while in operation. These vehicles would ride the bike lines in a route through the main streets of the Ford Impact Community with stops along the way, with a minimal charge to riders. In the future we would like to develop an app so riders can schedule to be picked up at one of the local stops and also pay for the ride.

The Stops would be at local businesses, parking lots or parks in the area that are easily accessible to the community. This would be an easy way to connect people with businesses, and allow people who work in the area or residents to travel around the "Ford Impact Community" without having to find parking every time they leave a location which is already a challenge for residents and visitors. This solution would not need to make any changes to the streets and will be easily implemented by the CBA which has already found a location to be able to store and charge the carts.   

The CBA would partner with Mob Steel a local design/build company that manufactures automotive aftermarket products and builds custom cars, while celebrating the history of the automobile industry and the Motor City. Mob Steel would be in charge of designing and retro fitting the carts to our needs. The CBA would also partner with Detroit Labs, a local app development and software company, to create an app for this project that would show a map of stops and where the carts are on their route in real time and in the future to be able to use the app to schedule pickups and pay for rides through the app.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

This solution will increase the ability for residents, workers and visitors to travel around the Ford Impact Community with ease, without having to find a new parking spot every time they leave a location. This solution would also allow people to park further away from their destinations and still arrive to where they want to go with ease. This would also help businesses in the area by giving them an opportunity to be a stop on one of the routes, which would introduce new patrons to their business and allow people to visit several establishments in the Ford Impact Community without the hassle of parking. This solution would also create jobs for the area as staff would be needed to drive, and maintain the carts as well as operate the business end of the project. It would also bring in a green factor as the carts would be electric powered and would decrease the need to drive around the Ford Impact Community, decreasing automotive emissions.

Describe your solution's stage of development

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

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

The CBA is a dues paying membership organization that works together to support each other, build a safe and welcoming neighborhood, and promote economic growth in the place we work and live. The CBA started in 2013 when a group of business owners started meeting weekly to discuss how to have a voice in the development of their neighborhood. The CBA has grown to almost 150 members strong in only 5 years with an estimated number of businesses in Corktown between 175-200.

Size of your team or organization

  • 51-250

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • Yes

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

1 handicap accessible carts :$13,054 3 -6 passenger carts: $20,500 Design & Fabrication :$40,000 Build Materials :$16,000 Insurance : $5,000 Dispatch phone: $600 Walkie talkies : $800 App Development: $3500 Promotional materials: $546 Total $100,000 Other expenses from grants & Business Improvement Zone Project Manager: $15,000 Drivers: $106,160 Grand total: $221,160

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The CBA will pilot this idea by building a prototype cart to test run through designated routes to ensure the carts can withstand long drives. The CBA will also be using this time to get businesses to sign up as designated stops so we can solidify the route. Once the routes are mapped out, the CBA will study the timing of routes so we can properly schedule stops. All the data collected will be turned over to Detroit Labs so they can start planning the development of the APP for this idea. This period will give us time to properly plan and work out any issues or problems before launching the full project.

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

The success of this project will be measured by successfully building a cart that can withstand long hours of operation, and is adaptable to changes in the weather. Another measure of success will be successfully getting local businesses to buy into this project and create a route, perfecting the timing down to the minute to ensure consistent pickup and drop offs in the Ford Impact Community. The CBA is already a successful and proficient organization that will put all its support behind this project, so that it is properly planned out, with a concrete infrastructure to support the launch of this idea. The organization is made up of experienced business leaders in the community that will be able to develop the idea from start to finish.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The CBA is currently working on a BIZ for the area which would raise money to help support projects like this one. We will also be able to sell advertisements on the carts, like buses currently do in the city. The creation of the app will raise revenue through fares paid by passengers, who would have different payment options. For example, a rider could pay for one ride, or get a discount and ride for the day; or residents, employees or other regular riders can pay monthly.

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