BlueIndy Electric Car Sharing is Born (Under a Bad Sign)
BlueIndy, the nation’s first electric car sharing service, launched in Indianapolis on Wednesday, according to Time, but with controversy.
The car service, which uses Bollore Group electric cars, has met initial opposition with the Indianapolis City Council, who’ve taken aim at the mayor who launched the project with Bollore — whose other EV car-sharing cities include Paris and London.
The cars shouldn’t be parked in downtown spots, council members say.
“The mayor needs to understand that even though this is one of his pet projects, he is not above the law,” City council member Zach Adamson, told WXIN.
The program is drawing fire from local residents as well.
The city’s buses are among the worst in the nation, according to StreetsBlog.org, and residents say the $6 million from city coffers for the service could be better spent on better public transportation. The lack of public transportation is reason alone for the service, BlueIndy General Manager Scott Prince told the Indianapolis Business Journal:
“We think it’s the perfect city to do this,” he said. “If we had the world’s greatest mass transit system today, this arguably would not be the first city we’d be launching in in America.”
Nonetheless, neighbors say the dedicated city parking spots and charging stations for the cars are an eyesore:
“I live in a historic neighborhood, and I’ve got a rental car business in front of my house,” Chas Navarra told the Indianapolis Star. “What’s the difference between having this and Hertz or Avis parked out there? How is this going to be good for my (property) valuation?”
A safety hazard:
“When it smacks you on the forehead like that, it’s really something,” Navarra said. “Do we even know if these chargers are safe or if children should be playing around them?”
“I drive my car to work Downtown,” Sean McCarthy told the Indianapolis Star. “It’s only three miles, but we have a parking garage, and traffic isn’t bad at all.
“I just don’t think Indianapolis is at that point where we have to find all kinds of other ways to get to work. It might make sense in a larger city but not here, yet.”
And a “leap of faith”:
“It’s quite alien,” Michael Thwaite, who is president of Plug-In America, told the Indianapolis Business Journal. The car “requires someone to take a leap of faith that the thing will work and it will meet their needs. It has to be better than the alternatives.”
The service will eventually have 500 cars available, according to its website. The cars fit four adult passengers and have a range of 150 miles.
Membership for the service costs $9.99 a month and $4 for 20 minutes in the car. After 20 minutes, users are charged $0.20 per minute.
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Sounds like typical city politics to me. The council members who didn't get their pet project approved are crying to the press about those that did. Because city councils are daycare for failed real estate agents and lawyers. They will feel better after they have a juice box and a nap.
How is this the nation's first electric car sharing service? San Diego has had an all-electric Car2Go fleet for years. Using taxpayer money and giving special access to real estate are two features of transportation sharing schemes that really should be getting some dirty politicians publicly lynched.