Meeting a Changing Demand


Linden LEAP


The mission of the Linden LEAP self-driving shuttle has always been to serve the Linden community. Now, to help meet changing needs and curb the spread of COVID-19, the Linden LEAP is shuttling food boxes between St. Stephen's Community House Food & Nutrition Center and Rosewind Community Center.

12-3 PM Mon - Fri
12-3 PM
Mon - Fri
Up to 40 food boxes distributed per day
Up to 20 food
per day
All Franklin County residents eligible
All Franklin
New safety protocols in place
Free face
available on
3 Trained Operators
3 Trained


Operating Hours

Monday - Friday

12 - 3 p.m.

Current Conditions
Service Announcements
Operating normal service hours M-F 12-3 p.m. at Rosewind Community Center.


Every weekday from 12-3 p.m., the Linden LEAP will shuttle food boxes between the St. Stephens Community House Food & Nutrition Center and Rosewind Community Center, with one stop near 1400 Brooks Avenue. Food boxes are provided with support from the Mid-Ohio Food Collective and every Franklin County resident is eligible for one food box a week.


  1. The operator will wear a mask when
    • Interacting with staff
    • Loading and unloading
    • At the northbound stop
  2. Hand sanitizer will be kept on the shuttle for operators and residents (upon request).
  3. The shuttle will be cleaned and sanitized at the conclusion of each shift. Following cleaning, the operator will close the door to the vehicle before powering down to protect the integrity of the cleaning.
  4. Patrons are asked to wear a mask when picking up a box and to maintain six feet of social distance.




Food pantry boxes can be picked up at the Rosewind Community Center between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m or til the last box is distributed, whichever is sooner.
Every Franklin county resident is eligible for one food box a week.
You can pick up your food box at Rosewood Community Center between 12 and 3 p.m.
Due to continued safety concerns, the shuttle is not open to passengers at this time.
  • Connect the community to jobs and services
    • Community centers
    • Opportunity centers
    • Food sources
    • Support services
    • Smart Mobility Hubs
    • Public transit
  • Improve safety and mobility of travelers by mitigating first mile/last mile challenges
  • Encourage transit use by expanding locations served and implementing efficient schedules and integrated solutions
  • Reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in the region
Self-driving vehicles combine sensors and intelligent software to help the vehicle understand where it is and when to accelerate or stop for something in its path.
Research on algorithmic bias has been published, but further research is merited.
EasyMile’s self-driving shuttle uses multiple technologies like sensors, LiDAR, cameras, GPS, odometry, and inertial measurement unit for ensure it follows the route and avoids obstacles. LiDAR uses laser light pulses to detect the outline of people crossing the road regardless of their skin color.
On Feb. 20, one of the Linden LEAP shuttles was traveling at 7.1 miles per hour and came to a sudden stop. As a result, one of the two passengers slipped from her seat to the floor and sought medical attention. Smart Columbus temporarily suspended operation of both Linden LEAP shuttles, and changes were made to increase safety and reduce sudden stops. To learn more about Smart Columbus and our commitment to safety, tap here.
Smart Columbus selected EasyMile as the vendor to service the Linden route. City Council approved the selection of EasyMile on May 20th agenda. The EasyMile shuttle can hold up to 12 people and provides accessibility for those with mobility challenges. EasyMile is the most widely deployed self-driving vehicle in the world with over 230 self-driving vehicles in 26 countries.
Operators are required to receive training in the following areas:
  • Assist and interact with passengers, including providing mobility assistance during passenger boarding and alighting, as necessary
  • Provide accurate basic information about the vehicle, the purpose of the route, and the Smart Columbus program
  • Receive and record passenger feedback
  • Operate a ramp, door and charging station
  • Perform road testing of a vehicle
  • Have a working knowledge of vehicle equipment
  • Perform clean-up, including bodily fluid
  • Intervene in vehicle operations, if necessary
The Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, in partnership with Smart Columbus and United Way of Central Ohio, has commissioned research by The Ohio State University’s Ohio Education and Research Center (OERC) to examine future job opportunities for central Ohio residents brought about by technology and innovation. The research will seek to identify future jobs in industries related to intelligent transportation systems, electrification, internet of things, financial services and healthcare. It will also address the skills needed to fill those jobs, and gaps in current local training programs.
DriveOhio also has a workforce development initiative that is focusing on
  • Preparing people for the emerging jobs of tomorrow
  • Transitioning disrupted employees into new jobs
  • Ensuring equitable access to mobility for education, work
  • Attracting jobs in the smart mobility industry to Ohio
In Columbus’ Smart City Challenge application, project leaders initially explored the prospect of deploying a self-driving shuttle in the Easton area. Surveys of potential riders and industry research revealed that technical and safety barriers would lead the intended route there to fall short of the goal of connecting residents to jobs and services in that specific area.
  • Hammond Center to Carepoint East
  • Maloney Health Center to Kroger
  • OSU West
Through the RFI process, the City was fortunate to receive five responses to the RFI that help inform the project, current capabilities, and the ability of the technology to navigate the proposed routes. The vendors that responded were:
  1. 2getthere
  2. First Transit / EasyMile
  3. Ohmio
  4. Navya
  5. Stantec / EasyMile
  • Created processes for the first time around safety, customer service and data management
  • Collaboration between public sector and private sector to answer questions that have never been asked before
  • Engaging stakeholders along the route early and often helps the surrounding community embrace the new technology
The pilot is anticipated to last til February 2021. During the pilot, we will be collecting data. We will share our findings with the community and stakeholders to aid in determining next steps.
Still have questions?


We're delivering up to 20 food boxes a day.


Boxes Distributed Since July 2020

Updated 8/24/20


Linden LEAP is made possible through the leadership and support of U.S. Department of Transportation, Smart Columbus, EasyMile, St. Stephens Community House and Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.

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