A month after its launch, the BlueIndy self-service electric car sharing service is performing well, according to Indianapolis General Manager Scott Prince. The service currently boasts 28 stations and 52 cars, but that number continues to grow in the fall season as the company meets its expansion plans.
“In the upcoming month, we’ll be launching at the Indianapolis International Airport, we’ll be launching on the campus of Butler University and the campus of IUPUI and other colleges, and then of course retail and high-density urban housing areas,” Prince explains.
When it’s complete, BlueIndy is expected to be the largest electric car share service in the United States, incorporated into the Indianapolis transit strategy. Ultimately the system will feature 200 charging stations with five spaces each. Memberships can be purchased for daily, weekly, monthly or annual use and allow the member to use or reserve for use any BlueIndy electric car for point-to-point transit.
Prince says the service just marked has marked its 1700th ride since kicking off in the first week of September and has the potential to transform not just transit in the metro area, but users’ budgets. “Oftentimes BlueIndy is the most affordable, faster option. We not only move folks around, but the savings stack up. Think of the annual cost of car ownership, insurance, gas, parking – we could be helping folks save eight, nine or ten thousand dollars by just using the BlueIndy service, and that’s real savings to a household.”
Aniruddh Vajjhala is a mechanical engineering graduate student who came from India to study at IUPUI. Without a car of his own, he finds that the BlueIndy system already meets many of his transportation needs. “I loved it for two reasons, one that it is 100% electric, so it’s ecofriendly, but also because you can pick it up at any station and drop it at any station, with no worries about parking, gas or insurance.”
Prince says BlueIndy, which is owned by the French company Bollore’, is getting plenty of attention. “We are right now speaking to a lot of other cities that are very closely tracking Indianapolis, and so we’re pricing the service here in Indianapolis to be very affordable because we want to make sure the network is used. People are looking at Indianapolis as a showcase for the United States.”
“As we continue to expand, you’ll see the spatial location map fill out very quickly,” says Prince. “We’re working with neighborhood liaisons and developers and making sure everyone has input. Where you live, where you go throughout your average day, we’ll be there.”
Prince discusses BlueIndy’s reach and membership options.
Aniruddh Vajjhala is often asked about the cars when he drives.
Prince discusses how the BlueIndy program enhances the city’s reputation.