FAQ’s

These are a few of the the most asked questions regarding the Marion County Transit Plan.

Why am I hearing so much about the Red Line?

Analysis has shown that the first phase of the Red Line has the best potential for immediate success from a ridership, economic development, and federal funding standpoint. Consider the following, based on projections:

  • With job connections considered the most vital indicator of ridership and economic development, the first phase of the Red Line will connect to more jobs than any other rapid transit line under consideration, and more than any other corridor in Indiana.
  • If it were a city, the Red Line corridor would have a daytime population of 250,000+, and that population would be the state’s densest and most diverse.
  • While the Red Line represents 1% of IndyGo’s geographical service area, it contains 15% of all daily boardings on the system.

Do competitor cities invest in transit?

Central Indiana regularly competes with regions throughout the U.S. to attract businesses and grow the workforce.  Central Indiana’s competitor cities invest in transit, and most have been doing so for years. In addition, many of the cities compared here have passed successful referendums in recent years to provide additional funding and support for their transit systems.

Chart_Transit Investment

What happens if the referendum fails?

  • IndyGo still has a system to run, and it will continue to do the best job it can with the resources it has.
  • Phase I of the Red Line will move forward.
  • Downtown Transit Center will open.
  • Real time information will come online.
  • However, improvements to hours, service, connections, and wait times will be more difficult to make. IndyGo’s costs continue to grow nominally as revenues remain fairly flat. Without a dedicated funding source or growth in Marion County’s tax base, service cuts will eventually occur.

What is the Marion County Transit Plan (MCTP)?

The Marion County Transit Plan begins the process of implementing Indy Connect, the multi-county transit vision for Central Indiana. The Marion County Transit Plan includes significant investment in the local bus network and three rapid transit lines on high ridership routes.

The Marion County Transit Plan includes:

  • Improvements to the local bus network:
    • Shorter wait times between buses
    • Service earlier in the morning and later at night
      • Monday – Friday: 5 AM – 1 AM
      • Saturday: 6 AM – 12 AM
      • Sunday: 6 AM – 10 PM
    • More efficient transfers
    • Advanced payment technology and real time arrival information
    • All routes operating 7 days a week
  •  3 rapid transit lines:
    • Blue, Purple, and Phase 2 & 3 Red Transit Lines

Legislation passed by the State legislature gives some counties in Central Indiana a new funding mechanism for transit by calling a referendum. The plan for Marion County assumes passage of a referendum in 2016 at .25% income tax ($.25 for every $100 earned) with new funding available in 2017.

What are some of the benefits of transit?

Please check out the benefits section of the Marion County Transit Plan.

Did the public have any input in the plan?

Hundreds of public meetings to gather input from the public have taken place over the years to help refine what the transit priorities are for Central Indiana.

In 2014, IndyGo Forward helped set a direction for the agency’s future investments. Public discussions focused on the trade-off between coverage-based services and ridership-generating services. With comments from IndyGo Forward and Indy Connect, a specific Marion County plan has been developed.

In February of 2016, IndyGo introduced the Marion County Transit Plan to the public. Legal notices, paid radio and internet ads, on-board print and audio announcements, postings at major stops in the downtown area, direct communication to e-newsletter subscribers, social media, website updates, press releases and partner communications gave options to learn about the plan.

In just over 5 weeks, IndyGo hosted or attended 17 meetings to promote the plan and gather feedback. IndyGo collected comments at meetings, online and through the customer service call center. Staff received and reviewed 97 comments.

Learn more about the public involvement process.

How will the plan be funded?

Currently transit service in Central Indiana is funded by a combination of property taxes, federal grants, and rider fares. For any expansion to take place, the region would need to tap into other revenue sources.

Legislation passed by the State legislature in 2014 gives some counties in Central Indiana a new funding mechanism for transit by calling a referendum. The plan for Marion County assumes passage of a referendum in 2016 at .25% income tax with new funding available in 2017.

Learn more about MCTP funding.