The Federal Transit Administration released its Smalls Starts funding recommendations for the 2017 federal fiscal year including a $75 million award for the construction of IndyGo’s Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The grant adds to more than $40 million in successful competitive federal funding opportunities for IndyGo since 2012. The Red Line was identified as a 35-mile, three-county rapid transit line through the regional Indy Connect planning process, which was launched in 2009 as a collaborative planning initiative to improve transit in central Indiana by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) and IndyGo.
The line will be the first central Indiana rapid transit line and, when fully built, will run from Westfield through Carmel, into downtown Indianapolis, extending to Greenwood. The route has seen strong regional support and ultimately will come within half a mile of 100,000 residents, connecting workers to the state’s two largest employment clusters (downtown Indianapolis and U.S. Highway 31 in Carmel). The line will also make health care and education more accessible with reliable, frequent and quick travel to the state’s largest hospital and four major higher education institutions.
The Small Starts grant award will position IndyGo to begin implementing the Indy Connect plan within Marion County. Phase 1 construction of the Red Line will begin spring 2017. Approximately 18 months after breaking ground, the first segment of the Red Line will run for 13 miles from Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis via Downtown Indianapolis and will be the nation’s first battery-powered all electric BRT system.