INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 15, 2015) - Brand new BlueIndy cars parked on Washington Street near Meridian could be towed if council members have their way. The Indianapolis City-County Council voted to remove the cars from a downtown charging location during Monday night's meeting.
This is not the first time this issue has come before the council. Members previously delayed any decision on the measure due to ongoing discussions with BlueIndy. When the issue resurfaced during Monday’s meeting the council voted 17-11 in favor of removing the electric car sharing service from its Washington Street location.
Council members who voted in favor of towing the cars claim talks with BlueIndy are at a standstill. They want to see the company pay a franchise fee in exchange for conducting business in Indianapolis.
"We’re not all against BlueIndy. We want this to be done in the correct way with franchise fees the way it’s set up now Indianapolis is not going to recap any of their money until Blue Indy makes a profit," said Frank Mascari, City-County Council Member.
The electric car sharing service launched with much fanfare earlier this month. Top officials with the company addressed the controversy surrounding the program during a press conference and said they were committed to working with the community. In addition to calls for a franchise agreement, residents have also expressed concerned about the location of charging stations.
BlueIndy's President said discussions with council are still ongoing.
"What we’ve asked is for them to give us a list of the items that they would like to see in this new agreement obviously we can’t agree to sign a contract if we don’t know what’s in it so that’s where we stand. We think that through engagement and communication we can address their concerns," said Hervé Muller, BlueIndy's president.
A spokesperson for Mayor Greg Ballard released the following statement in response to council's threat:
"BlueIndy cars, which hold right-of-way permits, are legally parked vehicles. The council’s action last night urging uniformed officers to tow legally parked cars is terribly insulting to the law enforcement professionals who keep our city safe by addressing real public safety issues."