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Riley Area Development Corporation + Circuit, a Free Ride

Free rides that enable mobility between our affordable housing and Ruckus Maker Space with micro-transit, electric shuttles.

Photo of Meg Storrow

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Riley Area Development Corporation (RADC) is partnering with a proven provider of micro-transit to offer free electric shuttles that connect their affordable housing and entreprenuship projects: the Ruckus Maker Space, Trailside, Davlan and Seminole Buildings, and the Rink Savoy, serving our 170 affordable housing units and a maker space hub. We will increase access to jobs, health care, and education with new jobs for ambassador/drivers. Our pilot project connects multiple affordable housing projects, including Trailside, Davlan/Hoosier Flats, Barton Tower, with the Rink/Savoy, with downtown Monument Circle and the IndyGo Transit Center. This route interaces with the entire Indy Go bus system and provides last mile connections for those that arrive at the Transit Center.

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

Riley Area Development Corporation is committed to equity. As a not-for-profit focused on culture-driven development of affortable housing and entreprenusrhip support, we envision Circuit performing an essential transportatio n function for their tenants and makers.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Transportation is changing rapidly but the first/last mile gap is still a big problem. The Ciruit has evolved to new vehicles and adapted its technology to scale up and now operates in 20 cities across 6 states. The hard part is launching a pilot program and getting established. Once over that hurdle our riderschip grows and becomes self sustainable.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Riley Area Development Corporation [] is leading this effort to provide free connectivity for their constituent populations living in their affordable housing on Mass Ave, their entrepreneurs on North Mass Ave with downtown destinations. Circuit [] was started in 2011 on a hunch that people would love easy, free transportation to their favorite hotspots using gas-free electric shuttles.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Our pilot program hires 4 ambassador/drivers, and deploys 4 cars for 4 months, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $91,450

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

RADC will house the shuttles in the Trailside Parking Garage at 875 Mass Ave where they would be parked, serviced and charged. Circuit will train ambassador drivers and operate and manage the shuttles. The shuttles would be brightly wrapped with a Mass Ave Cultural District identity logo and would be instantly desirable because of the known Mass Ave brand. the Mass Ave Merchants Association Coordinator, Chantel Stone would launch a social media campaign, designed to reach the over 20K Facebook subscribers to Mass Ave INDY.

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

We will measure our success by users, new jobs. Data is tracked for Ridership, Reporting, Heat-mapping and Management purposes. Our goal is to gain sponsors during our pilot phase we can expand our hours and days of operation. For instance to run the same program 12 hours/day at 7 days/week would cost $108,658 (and more than double the hours of the pilot program). If sponsors come to the table, Circuit will offer a 40% revenue share, or can roll that into an extension of the program. The shuttles have interior ipads that riders use to snap a "selfie", and enter thier email addresses to share the photos with their friends. Those email addresses are retained as subscribers, enabling us to verify the number of users. In addition our drivers are trained as ambassadors and can count their travelers during their trips.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Circuit has a successful history of planning, selling, and executing advertising campaigns for a variety of local and national advertisers. Circuit sold over $10 Million in advertising campaigns nationally from 2015 to 2018. We believe that Salesforce, Cummins, and Bottleworks will all want to sponsor this idea, given the opportunity. For other districts that may not have potential sponsors, RADC will seek philanthropic support.
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Attachments (3)

Equity Map.pdf

Riley Area Development is committed to equity. As a not-for-profit docused on culture-driven development of affordable housign and entrepresneurship support, they envision Circuit performing an essential transportation function for their constituencies.


Cars will be housed at the Trailside Parking Garage, 875 Mass Ave, owned by Riley Area Development Corporation. Cars will operate in a one-mile service area connecting the Mass Ave Cultural D istrict with downtown and high-densisty near-in neighborhoods. The Free Ride will serve both near-in neighborhoods and the local workforce.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Karen Sherman

As a resident of the near east side and employee of a restaurant group with multiple locations in downtown Indianapolis, especially Mass Ave. this would benefit the neighborhood and also increase econimic growth throughout the city. A number of our employees rely on public transportation to get to and from work but it is not always reliable and can become expensive. This would also benefit our businesses by allowing easy transportation for convention attendees towards the Mass Ave area.

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