On September 1, IndyGo opened the long-awaited Red Line – the city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The Red Line runs 13 miles through the densest part of the city, providing access to 50,000 residents and nearly 150,000 jobs – nearly one in every four jobs in all of Marion County. Riders are offered a premium experience – the Red Line offers reliable 10- to 15-minute transit service through the heart of the city from 28 locations. BRT stations are level with the height of the bus, making boarding and exiting easy & efficient. Additionally, for 60% of the route, the buses have dedicated bus-only-lanes which greatly increase reliability and on-time performance.

IndyGo Red Line – Photo courtesy of IndyGo

The IndyGo Red Line is the first fully battery-electric BRT service in the nation. Fares are currently free as IndyGo finalizes components of an account-based fare system, MyKey, but ultimately riders will be able to pay for a ride at any station or through a mobile application.

The IndyGo Red Line is possible only after years of planning, public meetings, collaboration, legislation, and advocacy.  The line was also a result of the community defining its values surrounding public transit; sometimes this included charged conversations. The Red Line serves as the spine of a 70% increase in transit service for Marion County: every route coming every day, short wait times, and three rapid transit lines. Following the Red Line, IndyGo will build the Purple and Blue Lines and double bus service.

The IndyGo Red Line project, and transit’s critical rising to a regional priority, can be attributed to the collaborative work of a host of CAP alumni including the following: Sean Northup, Adam Thies, Brad Beaubien, Jen Higginbotham, Ryan Wilhite, Lauren Day, Ryan Gallagher, Brooke Thomas, John Marron, Austin Gibble, Taylor Firestine, Jessica Thorpe, Ehren Bingaman, Jeremy Moore, Drew Rosenbarger, Josh Anderson, Jon Bohlander, James Rinehart, Colby Cline, Katie Wertz, Mark O’Neall. Of these, Lauren Day, Ryan Gallagher, Austin Gibble, John Marron, Brooke Thomas, and Ryan Wilhite all worked to help launch the Red Line as IndyGo employees.

Shared mobility is critical for the future – for best using the limited street space that is accessible to all. IndyGo, the MPO, CIRTA, Health by Design, and a host of private and nonprofit organizations represented above are working to implement thoughtful solutions to our limited right of way in a way that builds more equitable communities for all.

Urban planning has allowed each of us to dig into these causes and use our collaboration, creative thinking, and project management skills to put action behind the ideas.

Ball State CAP Alumni are moving Indianapolis forward with significant changes to the city’s mass transit system.