Red Line construction to begin in March
By KELLI MIRGEAUX and LAUREN DAY, IndyGo
It has been 14 months since nearly 60% of Marion County voters supported a dedicated tax for transit projects – and residents of Marion County will begin to see the impact of this investment.
Beginning in February, IndyGo will begin implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan with improvements to the local bus service. Adding more than 250 new trips to the weekends and evening hours, this first phase of improvements will reduce wait and travel times, and make it easier for current and future riders to reach their destinations.
Construction on the nation’s first all-electric Bus Rapid Transit system is scheduled to begin in March with the Red Line. In June, additional local bus improvements will be rolled out, and in the summer of 2019 the Red Line rapid transit project will be complete ushering in the new frequent bus network map.
In five years, IndyGo will increase service by 70% and provide more reliable public transportation daily for thousands of riders.
Local route improvements – This month, IndyGo will begin to enhance service on key routes. Riders can expect to see more trip times available during evening hours and on weekends on routes 3, 8, 10, 39, and 87. In June, more trip times will be added to routes 3, 10, 31, and 34. These routes carry approximately 60% of all riders in the system.
Additional details are available online at www.IndyGo.net/TransitPlan. IndyGo’s volunteer “transit ambassadors” are helping educate the public on the routes.
INDYGO Red Line – The IndyGo board authorized the transit agency to enter into contract negotiations with two firms for the construction of Phase 1 of the Red Line rapid transit project. The work, including roadway and sidewalk construction, will be carried out by Rieth-Riley Construction Co., and the station canopy construction and related buildout work will be done by FA Wilhelm Construction.
The bids totaled $45.99 million, approximately 3.5% below IndyGo’s estimates. As part of IndyGo’s commitment to contractor, supplier and service business diversity, each contractor is committed to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation – Rieth-Riley at 12.49% and Wilhelm at 2.21%. An additional 5.52% of the Wilhelm package is expected to be done by locally qualified firms beyond the federal requirements.
Construction is anticipated to begin March 2018 and the public can access the schedule and any updates by visiting www.indygored.com. Electronic signs are activated along the corridor to alert commuters of upcoming construction. Some utility work might have begun in January, and disruptions in utility service will be communicated by each responsible utility.
Phase 1 of the Red Line will run from Broad Ripple through Downtown to the University of Indianapolis, stretching 13.1 miles with 28 stations, and providing an upgraded and reliable rapid transit service.
INDYGO Purple Line– Currently in design and public input phase, the Purple Line rapid transit project will follow closely behind the Red Line. Following IndyGo’s current route 39, the 14.6-mile Purple Line will connect Downtown with the City of Lawrence. Sharing eight stations with the Red Line along Meridian Street, the Purple Line will add 22 level-boarding, covered stations between the Julia M. Carson Transit Center and Fort Benjamin Harrison and the Lawrence Ivy Tech campus.
Blue Line – The Blue Line will run along Washington Street – current route 8. Alternatives for service west of Holt Road to the Indianapolis International Airport are elements to be determined in the design, public input, and preliminary engineering phases,all of which will begin by the second quarter of this year.
IndyGo officials believe the Red, Purple, and Blue Lines will provide reliable and frequent service with buses arriving every 10-12 minutes, stations with real time arrival information and seating, and fully electric vehicles.
Visit www.IndyGo.net or call 317-635-3344 for updates on each project, upcoming public meetings, or to request a meeting or update.
Artists selected for Red Line project
Transit Drives Indy and The Arts Council of Indianapolis have selected five artists to engage community members and each other on temporary projects for IndyGo’s new Red Line Rapid Transit project.
The artists and/or organizations are Big Car Collaborative, Jamie Pawlus, Sapphire Theatre Co., Andrea Smith and Carlos Sosa.
Additionally, one artist — Wil Marquez of Design w/ Purpose – was selected to join the IndyGo team as an artist in residence during the planning phase of the Purple Line Rapid Transit project.
This announcement comes as IndyGo moves toward an official groundbreaking for the Red Line Rapid Transit project and continues the planning phase for the Purple Line Rapid Transit.
The initiative was made possible by a $50,000 grant secured from Transportation for America through their Cultural Corridor Consortium program. The grant also led Transit Drives Indy and the Arts Council to form a long-term initiative called the Cultural Corridor Consortium – Indianapolis, or 3C Indy.
The mission of 3C Indy is to create a new culture of public transit in Indianapolis by activating artists and arts partners through a multi-year creative place-making program. 3C Indy is designed to educate and engage communities, and promote and monitor progress throughout the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan.
Through this project, the participating artists will use arts-based strategies to embrace and include neighbors and businesses in imagining and creating the social and cultural interaction that will be possible after the implementation of the Red Line. In addition, the artists will creatively mitigate the potential negative impacts of Red Line construction on communities and businesses.