Bus Rapid Transit Gains Traction in Indianapolis
In Indianapolis, transit riders who live and work along one of the city’s densest corridors will experience 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 5,000 residents and 50,000 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 was delivered under IndyGo’s transit plan. The Red Line will serve as the spine of the corridor, supporting a full BRT network in Indianapolis. The city’s major goals with the project 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, meanwhile, was looking for a creative solution to reinvigorate transit and provide more frequent, reliable service.
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.
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 CDM Smith's team, the success of the project centered on the strong partnerships between all stakeholders, including IndyGo, the city, its partners and the surrounding communities. With the Red Line, which opened in September 2019, Indianapolis is achieving its vision, providing high-quality transit service the moves people better.