BlueIndy makes progress in Indianapolis

BlueIndy car

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  — An electric car-sharing service in Indianapolis is winning over customers after initially angering some business owners.

BlueIndy is increasing membership in Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Starreported.

The company has 280 cars in the city. It’s sold almost 5,000 memberships and almost 65,000 rides have been taken. Almost 8 percent of those rides have been to or from Indianapolis International Airport.

The company made a deal with former Mayor Greg Ballard that allowed the company to install its charging stations in public parking spots in 2015.

Some business owners said the loss of nearby parking spots cost them customers.

“If they’re like a business, they should buy up empty lots and set their thing up in there,” said SoBro Cafe owner Helger Oomkes. “It’s really damaged my business.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration has been negotiating changes to the company’s contract. The new 15-year deal gives the city more say over where the charging stations can go.

Residents and businesses now have a 16-day period to object to new stations being built.

The company has agreed to move up to seven stations that were installed during the initial building phase.

“There are a very small number of stations where there remains concern and we are actively working with the city to come up with resolution that makes sense for the city, makes sense for BlueIndy and makes sense for those businesses,” said James Delgado, the company’s general manager.

The company aims to have 100 stations open by the end of the year.