When Indianapolis’s electric car sharing program Blue Indy pulled the plug in 2019, 89 charging stations were left across the City. The results of an assessment to reuse that infrastructure is now public.
The city used public input to name future uses for the Blue Indy charging stations -- including electric vehicle charging stations, placemaking and bike or scooter sharing. More than 1,200 residents responded to a survey about the Blue Indy sites in their neighborhoods.
The City also conducted its own study. Policy Advisor McKenzie Higgins says the aim is now to build a better transportation network.
“Much of the reuse is going to be around multimodal solutions, either moving folks away from cars to to electric vehicle use,” Higgins said.
Those reuse strategies are in line with the City’s sustainability plan called Thrive Indy.
Reverting back to traditional parking spaces was the least popular option for people who responded to the public survey.
After a study of the electric infrastructure underground, transportation planner Austin Gibble said they developed a scoring system to rate sites on useability.
“Is it appropriate for this site to host something that is subject to market forces like electric vehicle charging or bike share expansion or micro-mobility services,” Gibble said.
For example, some electric charging portals may be combined to produce more wattage depending on need.
The Department of Metropolitan Development will now solicit proposals and accept projects that could be completed as soon as next year.
The electric car share program BlueIndy started in 2015, under then-Mayor Greg Ballard's administration, with a $6 million investment from the city.