The Central Indiana Bus Rapid Transit proposal is heading from the drawing boards to one step closer to reality.
The bigger and better transit plan would double the number of bus routes, create bus rapid transit in key areas in central Indiana and convert the Indiana State Fair tracks into a commuter rail line from Noblesville to downtown Indianapolis.
Starting small is what IndyGo President Michael Terry has said is the plan. The $1.3 billion system would begin in Marion and Hamilton Counties and after seeing how commuters react to the plan then expand.
Federal money and three-tenths of one percent increase in local income tax will pay for the transit plan if voters approve it. The creation of the mass transit is crucial in promoting jobs and economic development in Central Indiana.
“It helps the entire city and region going forward,” Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said. “ It’s an investment, not just an expense.”
The first line planned to go into action is the Red Line. The $100 million bus-only lanes on a route that follows College Ave., 38th St., Meridian St., and Capitol Ave. The plan is to have fewer stops than traditional bus routes, clear lanes and faster boarding, which will get the buses downtown faster. Commuters will be able to find stops ever one-third to three miles.
Officials are not only saying that this will benefit those commuting with the transit plan but drivers also. With designated bus-only lanes it will prevent traffic backs up behind stopped busses and improve the traffic flow.
According to IndyGo the Indiana Bus Rapid Transit Plan’s grand opening will be in 2018.