Jump Aboard The Linden Leap

LindenEmpowers
AllPeople

Linden LEAP shuttles

ConnectingPeopleandPlacesinLinden

In February 2020, Smart Columbus will launch the first self-driving shuttle operating on public roads in a neighborhood setting.

Ride for Free Everyday
Ride for Free
Everyday
Self-Driving Vehicle with a Human on board at all times
Self-Driving Vehicle
with a Human on
board at all times
Carries up to 12 people
Carries up
to 12 people
Wheelchair accessible
Wheelchair
accessible
2 Shuttles
2 Shuttles

Today'sServiceUpdates

Operating Hours
Day Month Date

Monday - Friday

6am - 8am

9:30am -2pm

3:30pm - 8pm

Saturday - Sunday

6am - 8pm

Current Conditions
Service Announcements
Service Announcement:

As of Thursday, February 20 at Noon, both shuttles are out of service. We apologize for the inconvenience. Check back for updates on when service will resume. 

Update 5/15/2020: 

Smart Columbus has concluded its review of the Feb. 20 incident in which a Linden LEAP vehicle traveling at 7.1 miles per hour came to a sudden stop, causing a passenger to slip to the floor.

Sudden stops in autonomous vehicles can be caused by a multitude of factors, some of which are not apparent to the eye. The Feb. 20 incident was triggered by a slight deviation in the steering of the shuttle. Other factors, such as small or unseen objects in the vehicle’s path, weight distribution, or road conditions also can cause the vehicle to brake.

Smart Columbus is working with our partners to make adjustments that would reduce – but not entirely prevent – sudden stops. Smart Columbus supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s additional safety enhancements including providing seatbelts and additional passenger instruction. With these enhancements, every passenger can be confident we’ve done everything in our power to ensure their ride is safe.

Smart Columbus will follow guidelines set forth by the State and City regarding COVID-19 and those impacts on the Linden LEAP’s return to service.  We will be regularly assessing based on the current state of affairs when it is prudent to return to service and continue piloting self-driving technology in a neighborhood to connect Linden residents to needed community resources. The safety of our passengers and the public will continue to be our top priority.

More details on the Feb 20th incident and subsequent actions, click here.

Service Announcement:

As of Thursday, February 20 at Noon, both shuttles are out of service. We apologize for the inconvenience. Check back for updates on when service will resume. 

Update 5/15/2020: 

Smart Columbus has concluded its review of the Feb. 20 incident in which a Linden LEAP vehicle traveling at 7.1 miles per hour came to a sudden stop, causing a passenger to slip to the floor.

Sudden stops in autonomous vehicles can be caused by a multitude of factors, some of which are not apparent to the eye. The Feb. 20 incident was triggered by a slight deviation in the steering of the shuttle. Other factors, such as small or unseen objects in the vehicle’s path, weight distribution, or road conditions also can cause the vehicle to brake.

Smart Columbus is working with our partners to make adjustments that would reduce – but not entirely prevent – sudden stops. Smart Columbus supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s additional safety enhancements including providing seatbelts and additional passenger instruction. With these enhancements, every passenger can be confident we’ve done everything in our power to ensure their ride is safe.

Smart Columbus will follow guidelines set forth by the State and City regarding COVID-19 and those impacts on the Linden LEAP’s return to service.  We will be regularly assessing based on the current state of affairs when it is prudent to return to service and continue piloting self-driving technology in a neighborhood to connect Linden residents to needed community resources. The safety of our passengers and the public will continue to be our top priority.

More details on the Feb 20th incident and subsequent actions, click here.

Yourstopsare
ourstops.

The LEAP was created to help Linden residents get to and from important destinations where there aren’t any bus stops. Smart Columbus worked with Linden residents and stakeholders to identify the 4 stops; St. Stephen’s Community House, Douglas Recreation Center, Rosewind Resident Council Building, and the Linden Transit Center.

TheLeapCanConnectYouWith:

At St. Stephen’s

  • Childcare

  • Leadership Academy

  • Senior Services

  • After-School Programming

  • Food pantry

  • Employment and training services

  • Housing Assistance

  • Healthcare services

Learn more

At Douglas Recreation Center:

  • Cardio and weight training

  • Basketball

  • Homework help

  • Afterschool meals

  • Boxing

  • Martial Arts

  • Art/Ceramics

  • Female empowerment classes

  • Volleyball

Learn more

At the Linden Transit Center

  • Elite Academy Center

  • Pyramid Community Development Corporation

  • Healthcare services

Learn more

Ridingiseasy

The LEAP is free to all passengers 12 years old and up. The two shuttles servicing the route will pick up passengers every 12 minutes. It will take 24 minutes to ride from the first to the last stop. The shuttle operate 7 days a week from 6AM-8PM, except for 9:30AM-10:30AM and 3PM-4:30PM Monday-Friday during school release times per federal mandate.  The shuttles can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs and can carry up to 12 passengers.

Safetyisour
toppriority

Shuttle technologies include sensors, LiDAR, cameras, GPS, odometry, and inertial measurement units.

The shuttles use multiple layers of redundant technologies in order to maximize the safety of passengers and road users. These technologies include sensors, LiDAR, cameras, GPS, odometry, and inertial measurement units, which ensure the vehicle follows the route and avoids obstacles. A trained operator will always be on board to oversee the technology and to take over control of the vehicle, if needed. Operators are also available to answer passenger questions about the technology and to assist passengers. The shuttle will never go faster than 15 MPH and will typically travel around 12 MPH.

FAQS

The proposed route for the shuttle will have stops at Linden Transit Center, Rosewind Resident Council, Douglas Community Recreation Center, and St. Stephen’s Community House.
The shuttle is anticipated to run from Monday - Friday: 6am - 8am, 9:30am -2pm, 3:30pm - 8pm and Saturday - Sunday: 6am - 8pm
A shuttle will arrive at a stop every 12 minutes to pick up new passengers. It will take 24 minutes to ride from the Linden Transit Center to St. Stephen’s Community House.
Children under 12 years old require adult supervision to ride. Children 12 years old and older are welcome to ride the shuttle independently. Passengers are allowed to ride the shuttle for one full loop (example: from Linden Transit Center back to the Linden Transit Center). After the one full loop, the passenger will be asked to exit the shuttle.
No, the shuttle will operate free of cost to passengers for the duration of the pilot.
  • 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.
An operator will always be on board to oversee the technology and intervene, if needed. Smart Columbus has also developed a thorough test plan that the vehicles will need to go through prior to launch.
Smart Columbus has 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. They have an excellent track record with no reported safety incidences.
EmpowerBus, a local social enterprise focused on providing upward mobility for all, where each of their vehicles are a community where we have an obligation to treat one another with respect, appreciate our differences, celebrate our successes, and champion our neighbors and friends, will staff and operate the shuttles. Up to 5 new full-time operators will be hired from the community to operate the shuttles. They will work with pillars in the community like St. Stephen’s, New Salem, and the Area Commissions to share the job postings. Operators will be paid $15-$16 an hour with medical and dental insurance. In comparison, operators for COTA’s micro-transit pilot in Grove City, COTA Plus, earn $13 an hour and fixed route operators earn $18.57 an hour. Operators will need to have a valid driver’s license, be able to pass a drug and background test, and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Operators will receive a customized training provided by EasyMile as well as receive Smith System certification.
EasyMile is currently developing its training plan. It’s anticipated to be finalized in September 2019. Operators will be 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 one year. During the pilot, we will be collecting data related to ridership and customer satisfaction. We will share our findings with the community and stakeholders to aid in determining next steps.
Still have questions?

ByTheNumbers

The LEAP has been operating since February, 2020. Here's how it's performing so far:

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riders

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miles in operation

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surveys completed

Partners

Linden LEAP is made possible through the leadership and support of U.S. Department of Transportation, Smart Columbus, EasyMile and EmpowerBus

Find Out More

Interested in learning more about the Linden LEAP? Fill out this form and we'll contact you.