Our local news media continues to offer obligatory press releases promoting the electric car sharing program former Mayor Greg Ballard illegally awarded to the French-owned company, Bollore. The IBJ says Blue Indy claims it has sold 1,000 memberships and provided more than 7,000 rides since it launched last September. A spokesman for the company claims the launch has been "stronger than we had hoped" and the company "could not be more delighted."
Who uses the cars? The company says residents who don't own cars, families who are scaling back to just one car, college students and professionals using the cars for commutes. Blue Indy now has 120 cars in its fleet that are illegally parked in public parking spaces former Mayor Ballard's administration stole and gave to the company for its exclusive, for-profit business. It plans to add 20 news stations around the city by the end of February, including two on the Butler University campus, an additional station at the University of Indianapolis station and four stations at the airport.
The company claims it is investing $41 million of its own money here in Indianapolis. The fleet of cars and charging stations were actually acquired by the company for use in Europe, but the company couldn't convince any countries outside of France to accept the cars so the billionaire French businessman found the most gullible mayor in the United States to take the warehoused products off his back. The cars have not been approved for use on American highways, and the power charging stations are not UL certified, but those facts are inconsequential to our local news media, just like they've been towards the multiple state and local laws Mayor Ballard broke to award the one-sided agreement to Blue Indy.
Who has purchased Blue Indy memberships? Look to those who can afford them. Employees of mega corporations(Lilly, IPL, Citizens, Rolls Royce,,etc., officials of universities, hospitals, and imbedded dowtown law, accounting firms. They had charging stations placed in their company parking lots and directly in front of their DT locations long before the IPL rate case seeking taxpayer funding of the electrical infrastructure for Blue Indy. They will find a way to hide the "corporate" purchase of memberships to assist Blue Indy in proclaiming success. These groups will enjoy a great reduction in downtown parking expenses previously expended because their employees can now attend meetings, luncheons, and special events through the use of the Blue Indy cars strategically located at their businesses. Rental cars for visiting guests won't be needed. Company auto fleets can be reduced through use of Blue Indy cars for their many professional hires who now inhabit and drive up the rent of Downtown apartments. Members of the Chamber, Downtown Indy, government and elected officials thank the tax burdened Indianapolis residents for helping find another item to include in their expense accounts.
Call me crazy but I do not believe any of this Blue Indy hype for one minute. What inducements or "membership" price reductions or promo-freebies had to be included to achieve this difficult to believe enrollment number? Blue Indy is not a car sharing business so much as it is a car rental business that the uber-corruptocrat REPUBLICAN Ballard in effect [and IMHO] illegally started in Indy for his billionaire French transnational crony. That Marion County Democrats allowed this corrupt Marion County Republican to establish a 15 Year MONOPOLY- you know, MONOPOLIES, something Democrats used to be against- is stunning. It's all still there, every bit of the Greg Ballard corruption like Vision Fleet, bike lanes, XEROX/ACS parking meters. And Councilors want their salaries increased!!! Geez, really???
And you can bet,Ballard smiled all the way to the bank.
Ballard cut a deal with this company, and others, you can bet, that he smiled all the way to the bank.
Hmm, $6 million spent by the city works out to a subsidy of $6000 per Blue Indy member.
Not sure how much has actually been invested by the parent company, 120 cars at a cost of $22,000 each (based on the cost for buying a similar car outright in France) is only $2.6 million.
The electric cars are a tangible asset that can be resold. The city has spent $6 million for the curb redo's and installing the charging stations, none of this has any recoverable costs.
What a scam!
Gary, since the taxpayers of Indianapolis have invested $6 million and the use of public parking spaces, in addition to a surcharge on IPL electric bills, are Blue Indy records open to public inspection? Please make a public records request for a list of the names of the purchasers of the 1,000 Blue Indy memberships, and let us know the results.
1,000 memberships in a city this size has to be considered a failure of epic proportions.
Oh yah, that six months free promo is ending soon. Better cancel before I get billed for it!!!
Did BlueIndy hire Baghdad Bob as its PR flack?
We all know these numbers are BS. Never seen anyone other than blue Indy staffers driving those damn things. Blue Indy won't be around long without real revenue, or another infusion of tax dollars anyways.
In June, BlueIndy was projecting 500 cars by year end. 120 cars or 135 cars (figures published by IBJ and the Star) is far short of BlueIndy's estimates. Also BlueIndy says it needs about 3000 "rides" per day to be profitable, they have had 7000 total since the rollout 5 months ago.
Is this a Tim Durham scheme?
Sure he sold 1000 memberships!
And Ersal Ozdemir sells out every game!
The new road funding bill will assess a $100.00 per year registration fee on every BlueIndy car. Justice!
The joke is on Indianapolis taxpayers. That one-sided agreement Ballard signed with Blue Indy would force the City to reimburse the company for any fees like this levied against them.
Gary, I am the same person as anon 8:42 above. I also happen to own an electric car. Bought to see what the buzz what all about last summer. Haven't found it useful enough to justify keeping it. Although, it is fun to drive and I learned a lot by owning it. One nice thing is being able to pay to park in BlueIndy spaces. However, I thought you'd find it interesting that the past two times I used the spaces, expecting to pay $12+tax for the privilege, I actually was not billed a single penny. The company is a complete mess! They can't even bill for me using the service! Amaze balls....
Just in case there was any doubt, I swiped by BlueIndy ID card, removed the charging cable from the post, charged my car for 3 hours at one location, and another time I charged my car for 3 hours at another location. Both times, my card was read, my car was charged, but I was not billed! What company can expect to stay in business without billing their customers??????
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