Bus Rapid Transit Gains Traction in Indianapolis
In Indianapolis, transit riders who live and work along one of the city’s densest corridors can look forward to shorter wait times at the bus stop and more reliable trips between work and home thanks to the Red Line bus rapid transit (BRT) system. The system is a product of the city and the Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation (IndyGo) seeking to improve transit service on a critical 13.1-mile north-south corridor that serves 50,000 residents and 150,000 jobs and connects residents to key employment hubs, educational and shopping centers. To help achieve this vision of improved mobility, IndyGo hired CDM Smith to design an innovative, cutting-edge and environmentally responsible BRT system.
Innovation in Indy
As the first of several major rapid transit lines IndyGo has planned—the others including the Blue and Purple lines—the Red Line is set to be the first delivered under IndyGo’s transit plan. "The Red Line will be the spine of the corridor,” said Steve Goodreau, CDM Smith principal project manager, “supporting a full BRT network in Indianapolis.” Goodreau said that the city’s major goals were to increase system capacity and stimulate economic development along the Red Line’s route while maintaining the capacity to support future growth. “The community was looking for a creative solution to reinvigorate transit and provide more frequent, reliable service,” he said.
CDM Smith’s transit team was involved from the onset of the project, completing National Environmental Policy Act documentation and preliminary engineering, as well grant writing support for IndyGo’s successful Federal Transit Administration Small Starts application, which proposes $75 million in federal funds for construction. The CDM Smith team also performed traffic modeling and delivered final design services in advance of construction starting in 2018.
Our team is excited to have designed a system that will truly work for the public and metropolitan area and move people better.
A Smarter Way to Move People
The Red Line represents a smart public transportation solution that will improve mobility standards for Indianapolis, providing efficient service to more than 50,000 residents within walking distance of the BRT’s 28 planned stations and stimulating transit-oriented development on the corridor. For Goodreau, the success of the project to date has centered on the strong partnerships between all stakeholders. “What has been really great has been working with IndyGo, the city and all the stakeholders. They work as a tight-knit community, which has allowed us to do some creative things with the project and to help BRT take a significant step forward.” Reflecting on the vision Indianapolis and IndyGo set for the project, he said, “Our team is excited to have designed a system that will truly work for the public and metropolitan area and that will ultimately move people better.”
The Red Line will be the spine of the corridor, supporting a full bus rapid transit network in Indianapolis.