IndyGo's Red Line: Everything you need to know

IndyGo released a guide Tuesday to frequently asked questions about its proposed Red Line Rapid Transit system.

Officials said they have already modified lane configurations and station placements along College Avenue due to concerns about loss of parking. Now they want to share other questions they've received and the answers to them.

Find some of those questions below:

Why are we building this?

Rapid transit was identified as a top transportation priority for the city and region during the Indy Connect planning process of 2009-2011. Indianapolis ranks near the bottom of all metro areas in the country for economic mobility. The primary factor identified for that is a person's ability to access a job. Young educated people are also increasingly moving to cities with strong transit and bicycling infrastructure.

Why Bus Rapid Transit and not rail?

BRT is a service meant to emulate all the service features of light rail, only in a more cost-effective way. The IndyGo Red Line, like most light rail, will be fully electric.

Why can't I turn left?

Once the Red Line BRT is implemented, left turns will be restricted on College Ave. and Meridian St. and will only be allowed at signalized intersections. However, at each signalized intersection, a left turn lane and protected left turn signal phase (“green arrow”) will be in place that will allow drivers to make a legal and easy U-turn. This will allow drivers to pass their destination and make a U-turn at the next available signal to get back to their destination, without passing though the neighborhoods. In a few select locations new traffic signals will be installed to allow for access to left turns.

On College Ave. (from 38th St. to 65th St.), the BRT will be operating in a dedicated lane in the center of the street. Both North and Southbound buses will share the single lane and the median will be in the middle of the bus lane. The bus will drive over the median, straddling it between its wheels. This single bi-directional lane originated from strong neighborhood concerns over parking (see question below “Why is the BRT lane in the middle?”).

How many people will use this?

Based on the STOPS model, which was created by the Federal Transit Administration based on scaling real-world installations in other cities to our specific application, we expect to see an average ridership of 11,000 people per day on the Red Line.

Who will operate the Red Line?

At this point, it has not been determined whether IndyGo would operate the Red Line or if it would be operated by another entity, like CIRTA, as a contracted service. For now, IndyGo is the major transit operator in the region and is spearheading the design process.

Will the Red Line bring more crime to my neighborhood?

No. There is no evidence that the introduction of new transit service encourages criminal elements to take transit into previously inaccessible neighborhoods. Several studies have actually shown the opposite. See here and here.

How much will it cost to ride?

The Red Line would be priced just like any other IndyGo route. The current fare is $1.75 per ride but typically sees small increases over time due to inflation. IndyGo is planning a comprehensive fare study in the next year to look at the potential implementation of various features, such as free transfers and electronic payment systems.

Find the full list of questions and answers here.

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