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Mary Catherine Carmichael, Communications Director, carmichm@bloomington.in.gov, 812-349-3406

Additional Opportunities to Ride Driverless Bus Available for Friday

In response to overwhelming demand for tickets to ride on the first autonomous bus demonstration in Bloomington, a limited number of additional walk-up spots have been added for the Friday event. The available spots are Friday afternoon during the lunch hour and between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Those interested in riding without already having reserved a seat with Eventbrite should go to the check-in tent located in front of the Monroe County Public Library. Those with reserved seats should check in at the tent located in front of Peoples Park, preferably 15 minutes prior to their scheduled ride time. All participants should come prepared to walk the distance along Kirkwood Avenue between Indiana Avenue and Lincoln Street in case their pickup location point changes.

Following his remarks at 9:45 a.m, Mayor John Hamilton will be joined for the kick-off ride by Carl Cook and Pete Yonkman from Cook Group, Inc., Susan Sandberg representing the Bloomington City Council, Lew May from Bloomington Transit, 10-year-old activist Zoe Waters from the Community Council on Accessibility, Provost Lauren Robel of Indiana University, Dr. Andrea Mobley from Monroe County Community School System, 12-year-old philanthropist Toby Thomassen, and Melanie Walker from TASUS Corporation.

In addition to the first demonstration of driverless bus technology in Indiana, this event is the first of the new Fast Forward Bloomington initiatives and will feature family-friendly activities on Kirkwood Avenue, from Indiana Avenue to Lincoln Street, including:

  • Interactive solar bike exhibit: Monroe County Library

  • A replica of the first “horseless carriage” in Monroe County: Carl Cook

  • Electric Bike demonstration: Pedigo Bikes

  • Monroe County Energy Bus: Monroe County Energy Challenge

  • Indiana University Informatics, School of Engineering

  • POP!  Placemaking Toolkit: City of Bloomington

  • Uel Zing Coffee Cart

  • Ice cream from Hartzell’s

For those interested in only seeing the bus and taking photos, the bus will be available Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Kirkwood Avenue. Rides on the bus will not be available at this time.

“We want to thank the local business owners for their cooperation in this exciting ‘first time’ event for Bloomington. We hope folks coming to see the bus will also visit Kirkwood businesses for a meal or to shop a bit while they are enjoying the other activities being offered,” stated Lew May, general manager of Bloomington Transit.

The driverless bus was created by French autonomous vehicle maker EasyMile. Fast Forward Bloomington will feature the EZ10, an electric model that can be adapted to complement existing public transportation systems by providing people with the missing first/last mile mobility link. The EZ10’s potential applications extend to transportation alternatives for campuses, entertainment complexes, elderly care facilities, and more. The EZ10s have logged over 100,000 miles in 18 countries, transporting over 180,000 people without a single accident. The EZ10 accommodates up to twelve people and is equipped with an automatically deployed accessibility ramp.