Bus Rapid Transit Costs More Than Double in Indianapolis

IndyGo is planning changes to the Blue Line. The city’s third bus rapid transit route is turning out to be much more expensive than originally expected.

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August 30, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Passengers line up to board a bus at a bus rapid transit station in Indianapolis.

Momoneymoproblemz / Wikimedia Commons

“IndyGo is considering changes to the route for the Blue Line, the transit agency's third bus rapid transit line connecting Cumberland to the Indianapolis International Airport, in light of ballooning project cost estimates,” reports Kayla Dwyer for the Indianapolis Star.

Labor shortages and supply chain issues are blamed for increasing estimated costs on the project from $220 million in 2019 to $520 million in 2022. “Another major cost increase is attributable to city and Citizens Energy Group standards for drainage that have changed since work on the Blue Line began in 2018,” according to a source cited by Dwyer in the article. “Drainage costs alone comprise 42% of the total construction cost, whereas they comprised 18% of the Purple and Red Line costs.”

“To cut costs, IndyGo is proposing diverting the bus rapid transit route to I-70 between Holt Road and the airport, rather than using Washington Street,” reports Dwyer. “That would save in capital costs and travel time to the airport, but it would also mean no new stops west of Holt Road and no immediate infrastructure improvements to that stretch of Washington Street, unless the city or IndyGo pursues these in a separate project.”

More details on how much money each of the proposed changes would save are included in the source article below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 in Indianapolis Star

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