Blue Line

Project Overview

The 20 Mile Blue Line Rapid Transit Line will travel along Washington Street from Cumberland west to the Airport. The Blue Line will replace the existing route 8 local service.  The Blue Line will provide a fast, frequent and reliable transit service.

Stats

Stations: Level boarding
Station Spacing: ½ – 1 mile
Distance: 20 miles

Timeline

5% Design – End of April 2018
10% Design – August 2018
30% Design – January 2019
60% Design – June 2019
90-100% Design – December 2019
Bidding/Award – January 2020
Construction (18 months) – April 2020-August 2021
Revenue Service – December 2021/January 2022

Take a Quick Survey

Give feedback about IndyGo’s third rapid transit project by answering a few questions. Your input is critical!

Why the Blue Line?

Why are we building the Blue Line?

The Blue Line will provide access to work, education, healthcare, restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. It will serve as an alternative to driving for people of all ages and serve as a cornerstone of a comprehensive set of transportation options serving Indianapolis and central Indiana. The Blue Line will follow IndyGo’s current Route 8. With the Blue Line, local route improvements and the density of the corridor, the Blue Line lends itself to a successful rapid transit project.

Bus rapid transit systems provide many of the benefits of light rail at a fraction of the cost. BRT systems provide increased frequency, reliability, comfort, and convenience relative to local bus services. The permanence of BRT infrastructure supports increased private investment in the corridor, contributing to increased economic opportunity and quality of life.

How was the alignment for the Blue Line determined?

The alignment for the Blue Line was determined by an Alternative Analysis performed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization. That document can be found here.

What makes the selected routes the best option?

The Blue will serve one of the most active transit corridors that already exists today on Washington St. The current route 8 is one of IndyGo’s most heavily traveled routes and is a good candidate to be upgraded to BRT.

Planning & Funding

How much will the construction of the Blue Line cost?

The Blue Line will cost approximately $150 million. This is subject to change depending on the final lane configuration and route that is selected for the project.

How is Blue Line construction being paid for?

The Blue line construction will be paid for in part by the local transit tax, other local sources and potential Federal Funds.

How will Blue Line operations be paid for?

The Blue line operations will be paid for through the local transit tax.

Operations

Fares and Fare Collection

The Blue Line will operate under the same fare structure as local IndyGo service. IndyGo is planning a comprehensive fare analysis to examine various alternatives to its current fare structure independent of the Red Line project.

Fare Enforcement (eventually)

The Blue Line will utilize a “proof of payment” system for fare collection, where fares will be paid at ticket vending machines on the station platform, through a mobile app, or some other form of fare media. To ensure compliance with the fare policy, IndyGo will employ fare enforcement officers to randomly check passengers for proof of payment.

More details on IndyGo’s fare enforcement policy will be available following the conclusion of the comprehensive fare analysis and the development of a final operational plan for the Blue Line.

How will the Blue Line impact local transit services?

The Blue Line is one element of the Marion County Transit Plan; and as such, optimal route alignments are being identified. It is likely that local routes that once traversed the same corridor as the Blue Line will now feed into the Blue Line, providing the potential for more frequent service in those areas.

Local routes will remain in service during construction of the Blue Line. During this time, there may be service advisories and/or detours to limit conflict with Blue Line construction and other construction activities occurring along the route. IndyGo will communicate impacts to IndyGo customers, commuters, local businesses and the general public.

Service Hours, Schedules, & Frequency

The Blue Line is planned to be operational every day of the year.

A Blue Line vehicle will arrive at each station every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes during the weekend

Physical Features

Transit Plan - Bus Rapid Transit Station Rendering

Buses/Bus Specifications:

  • 60 ft Battery Electric Bus manufactured by BYD
  • Approximate ranger of 275 miles per charge
  • Will have doors on both sides to accommodate center and curbside platforms

Bicycle infrastructure:

Buses will provide space for onboard bicycle storage. Bicyclists will board at a designated door nearest the space for bicycle storage; platform-level boarding will enable bicyclists to conveniently and easily roll their bikes on and off the bus. There will be no bike rack for bicycle storage on the front of the BRT buses.

More information will be provided as the bicycle storage components are identified.

Dedicated Lanes:

To ensure the Blue Line remains able to maintain its speed and frequency and eliminating any impacts caused by congestion or traffic incidents, the Blue Line will operate in dedicated lanes where traffic volumes are sufficient to create the potential for delay.

Electrical (Re)Charging Infrastructure:

The battery capacity of the buses will be sufficient to allow all charging to take place at the IndyGo facility; additional infrastructure will not be necessary on the Blue Line route itself. Specifications of the charging infrastructure will be finalized once a bus manufacturer is selected.

 

Benefits & Impacts

Business

  • Gives people an alternative to driving
  • Provides an incentive for economic development
  • Can reduce the need for businesses to provide their own parking which can be very expensive

Environmental

BRT has positive benefits for the environment. Research shows that commuters can save hours of travel time by shifting to bus rapid transit; by proxy, this reduces hours that they sit in idling vehicles and reduces vehicle miles traveled. This additionally translates into better local air quality and reduces the likelihood of road fatalities and crashes (more information available here).

Through using electric buses, IndyGo will reduce its consumption of diesel fuel and the emissions that result from diesel vehicles. Further, due to the buses being zero emissions, fully electric vehicles, there is little to no noise pollution, allowing the buses to operate without impacting nearby activities. It is anticipated that at least some of the energy required to charge the buses daily will be derived from the solar panels atop IndyGo’s facility.

Neighborhoods

Investment and economic impact: The increase in transit capacity can also support an increase in investment and employment within the corridor. The Cleveland HealthLine stimulated $5.5 billion in investment after its opening in 2008. Several studies have found that the implementation of a BRT system leads to an increase in the number of jobs within the transit corridor as well.

Impact on crime: The increasing of transit capacity and frequency, and the introduction of new transit service, has not been found to result in an increase in criminal activity. Further, the introduction of well-lit stations with security cameras and other security systems, can result in a safer pedestrian environment. Some studies have shown a decrease in criminal activity following the introduction of increased transit service (research available here and here).

Property Owners

Research suggests that proximity to a Rapid Transit service increases the property values of nearby properties (a sample of this research includes Bowes and Ihlanfeldt (2001); Cervero and Duncan (2002); Baum-Snow and Kahn (2000); Garrett (2004); Hess and Almeida (2007); and Perk and Catalá (2009)).

Transit Riders

Current transit riders will benefit from the increased convenience, frequency, and reliability of a BRT system replacing local service on one of IndyGo’s busiest corridors. Additionally, transferring from local route service to the Blue Line will improve travel times and decrease wait times. The implementation of the Blue Line will lessen wait times before boarding and will reduce travel times between where individuals board and their destinations.

After implementation, transit riders will have better, more frequent access to nearly 150,000 jobs, major hospitals, three institutions of higher education, a number of cultural assets, and several neighborhoods.

Left Turns and U-Turns with BRT: 

To maintain on-time transit service, safety for pedestrians and drivers, and traffic flow, many segments of IndyGo’s upcoming Red, Purple and Blue BRT Lines will operate in exclusive or semi-exclusive center-running lanes. This means that the lanes are only for use by the BRT and emergency vehicles, or may only be used by motor vehicle traffic under certain conditions.

When BRT is traveling in Bus Only Lanes, drivers will only be permitted to turn at signalized intersections for their safety. All signalized intersections will include a protected U-Turn phase and construction includes the addition of new signals to improve safety and flow. See video below: