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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

Written by

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 [http://rileyarea.org/about-us/] 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 [http://thefreeride.com/about.php] 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.

ServiceAreaMap.pdf

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.

21 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Karen Sherman
Team

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.

Photo of Jen Eamon
Team

This project would benefit my near east side neighbors in Windsor Park and the neighboring neighbors at RUCKUS, Spades Park NA, the CCIC, Cottage Home and patrons of the Spades Park Library. Building reliable, low-cost transportation connections between the near east side and downtown benefits all of us.

Photo of Joseph  Jarzen
Team

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has enjoyed a strong partnership with RADC in the past, most recently creating a pocket park in Willard Park. This project created greenspace north of Washington St, on two vacant lots, which provided safe access to a park without having to cross that busy corridor. Access to greenspace is a key part to quality of life, and this project continues that effort to improve accessibility and environmental improvement. For this, we support this project for serious consideration.

Photo of Tom Schaefer
Team

Meg, this is a great plan! This is very beneficial to Chatham Arch residents, Mass Ave business, and the many folks that wish to work here. Many of the fine people that work in the Mass Ave establishments, get here and can’t find a place to park due to the over population of cars filling the quaint neighborhood streets. It is not practical to use their income to feed parking meters. Consequently, good workers are barred from participating. Also, as a Chatham Arch senior citizen, I would love easy access to downtown establishments, including the Transit Center, with access to Fountain Square establishments. Thanks for all you do Meg!

Photo of MaCie' Moore
Team

Hey Meg Storrow this is MaCie' one of the facilitators here! Thank you for participating in the challenge! What made you select the communities you did for your service area (f Chathatm Arch, Lockerbie, Cottage Home, Martindale Brightwood, Windsor Park, the Old Northside and Fountain Square)? Also would this service be free to the user if not what is your pricing model and would you have it be on a sliding scale?

Photo of Meg Storrow
Team

Hi MaCie,
The Riley Area Development Corporation (RADC) is a not-for-profit that serves Chatham Arch, Lockerbie, Cottage Home, Martindale Brightwood, Windsor Park, the Old Northside and Fountain Square by developing affordable housing options and entrepreneurship opportunities. The shuttles would be based in a RADC parking garage on the north end of Mass Ave (in the Trailside building - across from the future Bottleworks development) and we are using a roughly one-mile service area around the garage location.

The service will be free. If our pilot is successful, it will be because we will be able to demonstrate to sponsors its effectiveness and branding opportunities for a permanent shuttle service. Over time we intend to increase frequency and number of shuttles, and then expand into additional areas served by RADC like Garfield Park and the Near East side.

Glad you like the idea! Let us know what other questions you have. Thanks.

Photo of Chad Naville-Cook
Team

Love the idea of connecting the expanding population of Mass Ave and Downtown.

Photo of Kristin Kohn
Team

A great idea for the Mass Ave community!

Photo of Gary Reiter
Team

Here is a Channel 8 Wish-TV video and written article on the submission for your viewing pleasure: Click on the photo for the film; https://www.wishtv.com/news/local-news/grant-proposal-would-add-new-free-transportation-option-in-downtown-area/
All Electric with the availability of an APP to call and track the vehicles, handicap accessible, while providing connectivity to transit, health services, fresh food, education, culture and neighborhoods.

Photo of Trena Roudebush
Team

I love this idea! Transportation, especially seemingly short distances, is such a barrier for so many of our residents. I'm so excited about this possibility to ease access to work, medical care, groceries, etc. Thank you for thinking creatively!

Photo of Ryan Hickey
Team

Seems like this would be yet another positive contribution to downtown mobility and lowering the need for parking. As downtown density increases, the city will continue to face issues with parking and access for individuals without personal vehicles. I hope this project can be one of those long-term solutions Indy will need to grow as a city.

Photo of Jana Hageman
Team

I think this would be an excellent common sense
solution, we need more reliable and affordable transportation options in the city, and this program could be incredibly impactful. I also like the focus on safety, comfort, and efficiency.

Photo of Robbie Corr
Team

I agree with Jana - this concept looks like the future of urban transpo to me. Scooters are certainly not practical, safe or comfortable an seem like the closest micro-mobile alternative. Mass Ave Indy is a great location for this service.

Photo of Meg Storrow
Team

Hi Karen,
Yes - the pilot service area connects the JW Marriott to IU Health to Cottage Home and Windsor Park to east of College Ave on Washington Street! We are really excited that RADC can partner with a successful company to bring this mirco-transit option to downtown.

Photo of Karen Sherman
Team

This will greatly help connecting the convention center guests to the Mass Ave businesses. This will also provide access for residents to get to and from work helping even more while greatly limiting our carbon foot print.

Photo of Megan Nagel
Team

This is an amazing project providing the community with a specific, need-based service that will not only enhance the surrounding community but also provide safe transit, benefit businesses. This tech-forward stress-free service would destory barriers for price conscientious individuals while encouraging those without those concerns to explore more of the city without the objection/worry about parking. I support this fully!

Photo of Karen Sherman
Team

This is so exciting & will be such an asset to the city's businesses & residents!

Photo of Meg Storrow
Team

Hi Robert -
Yes! The person gets free mobility on demand within the pilot service area.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Alright i think your leaving out groups like myself that have sever gate limition. I would love if you would use my HRC units that will be on a bikeshare system or purchasable individually on my website I'll soon be starting. Take a look if you have time.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

In this, free electric taxi/ride, I must ask does the person physically gain anything. Or is it just a way to move people?

Photo of Gary Reiter
Team

Robert: The Rider can summon an accessible vehicle on the App to assist residents with limited physical mobility. Also, the program is intended to provide a FREE connection to the other transit options for better access to healthy food, medical care, education, jobs and cultural activities. The proposed route also links the downtown affordable housing rental properties managed by the non profit organization (Riley Area Development) to provide more options and less reliance on an automobile for low to moderate income area residents. Finally, the Ambassador driver will engage the rider in conversations about Indianapolis and point out the various options of returning to their original destination, including bikeshare, walking and the other modal choices. Many times people get to a place and feel comfortable enough to walk back or see that a bike share option might be fun too.