Self-Driving Shuttle Planned for Linden
A second self-driving shuttle could be roaming the streets of Columbus as soon as this fall. Smart Columbus has announced plans to establish a route in Linden for a vehicle that would function like the Smart Circuit shuttle that started operating downtown in December.
The new route would connect the St. Stephens Community House, at 1500 E. 17th Ave., to the Linden Transit Center, at the corner of 11th and Cleveland avenues, a distance of about a mile and a half. In between, stops would be made at the Douglas Community Recreation Center and the Rosewind Resident Council.
The idea is connect “key community assets” that were identified by neighborhood residents at a workshop held last February, according to a press release.
“Linden residents spoke and we listened,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther in the release. “The addition of a self-driving shuttle route in Linden will not only connect residents with vital community resources, it will be a great opportunity to pilot and learn about the technology in a neighborhood setting.”
“We’re excited to partner with Smart Columbus and make it easier for our neighbors to access programs like our food and nutrition center, youth-focused programming and PrimaryOne’s Health Center,” added Marilyn Mehaffie, CEO of St. Stephen’s Community House.
The Downtown route connects the Smart Columbus Experience Center with the Scioto Peninsula and features vans made by Michigan-based startup May Mobility. The vehicles seat five passengers in addition to an operator, who is available to answer question and to take over driving if needed.
Smart Columbus will select an operator for the Linden shuttle some time this spring, with the first day of operations scheduled for November.