Partner BlueIndy with local shopping businesses to reduce the costs of car sharing for lower-income residents.
The following proposal addresses the opportunity to provide greater and more affordable access to shopping in Indianapolis: groceries, household items, medication, etc. There are pain points for those living in food / shopping deserts and who are challenged by not having a personal car. And until IndyGo expands service, such residents using public transit are further limited, especially having to make multiple shopping stops throughout the city which could add more hours and stress to their schedule.
In looking at the research conducted by City:One, people are choosing personal vehicles as the primary transit option to do the following jobs: 1) Complete daily shopping tasks 2) Have enough time to do other activities - household chores, spend time with family, school studies, etc. While public transit is an option and should continue to be developed, a personal vehicle remains the most effective and efficient means to do the job of shopping. So how might we make personal vehicle access more affordable for residents and economically sustainable for the Indianapolis community?
This proposed solution can be explained through the following scenario:
Janet needs to buy groceries and medication for her family. This is a whole-day affair because she doesn’t own a car and relies on IndyGo, taking several different bus lines and making many shopping stops throughout the day. Typically she wouldn’t be able to afford to rent a BlueIndy car, but a friend just told her about a new pricing program available to those in her income level. After registering with BlueIndy, Janet goes to a nearby BlueIndy station with an available car. She then drives to various businesses, listed on the BlueIndy website, to do her shopping. These particular businesses have partnerships with BlueIndy - paying a monthly fee to be featured as part of the program. As a benefit to Janet shopping at these locations, she pays a very nominal fee for renting the car and making it affordable. She just needs to snap photos of her shopping receipts through the BlueIndy app, and with the car GPS tracker, her eligibility for the reduced rate can be confirmed. Finally, Janet drops-off the groceries at her apartment, returns the car to the station, and takes an IndyGo bus back home - all within half of the typical time and stress. Now she has the time and energy to cook dinner and enjoy an evening with her family.
This scenario can include further integration with other modes of city transport, e.g. IndyGo bus stops or Pacers bike share stops located near BlueIndy stations. This would create a more seamless and integrated transit experience.