Cities are collections of neighborhoods that work together. We spend most of our time in our local neighborhoods and communities - shopping, studying, meeting friends, dining out, and working. More than 70% of trips are local, and many people almost never leave their local community.
It used to be that this community life was walkable. In the last 100 years, we've transformed our cities from walkable places to car-centric distributed urban areas. In fact 91% of Americans today live in low-density areas (less than 10,000 people per square mile) where life without a car is challenging at least, and a major compromise at best. Older people, families, low-wage workers who hold down several jobs, people who work nights - these are just a few examples of populations who depend even more on having access to a car.
And while we love our transit, it was never designed for the task we've given it - moving people inside these now car-centered local communities. Transit works great for connecting neighborhoods and moving lots of people into dense areas, but getting kids to school before work or shuffling bags of groceries on the bus is tough.
What we need is a way for folks to travel locally with no friction, without having to own a car - a safe, simple and reliable neighborhood service that helps our car-centric communities work like denser, walkable places.
That's RubyRide. We call it Access-as-a-Service. Access because that's really what we provide - to the doctor, the grocery store, work, the park - we know that if you can't get there, you don't have access to that place. Transportation is just the tool we use to do it.
We provide teams of local employee-drivers who serve the neighborhoods they live in, taking care of the most basic needs - groceries, school, visits to friends - everything that makes up a rich community life. We sell access plans - fixed-price affordable monthly plans that unlock unlimited local trips. Most of the time you know your driver, and you can schedule in advance or request a trip via an app or phone call.
It serves everybody, with plans that align with customer needs - seniors with a lot of flexibility get very low-cost plans. Families can give their kids (over 10) access to a few places so they can have some independence; workers can get access to their community and the community where they work. And because transit is the best way to move across the city economically, we'll work with IndyGo to make those longer trips efficient and cost-effective.
We also work with community partners to help their users - this is where the 'access' gets really powerful - health plans, community organizations, retailers, schools - really any organization that benefits from people coming to them - can use RubyRide to provide access in managed ways that have never been possible before.
In Indianapolis, we will select two local communities to start, working with local community groups and the City:One team to find those ideal neighborhoods. We'll work with local stakeholders, hire and train local drivers, then begin building out our services around the people who live there. Mobility is like a grocery store - it's most affordable for each of us when it sells to all of us, and we'll develop partnerships and access plans that appeal to and serve everybody with dignity, from the most needy to those with lots of options.
We expect to show that our service pays for itself, using the City:One dollars to prime the pump, not to sustain us over time. We also expect to show that we're not only good for residents, but also good for the city and the environment. We've shown that one Full-time equivalent RubyRide car can support 40 local residents - without asking those people to compromise on their quality of life.
Indianapolis is a wonderful city with a great history of its people coming together when it counts. RubyRide would be proud to play a part this time around.