Federal Backing, Local Momentum for 'Indy Connect' Transit Plans

With federal support from the Obama Administration's LadderSTEP program now secured, Indianapolis' $1.2 billion proposal for mass transit upgrades has new momentum.
April 27, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Central Indiana's bus rapid transit plan appears to be gliding toward reality," reports John Tuohy, "with a boost Thursday from the nation's transportation head and plans to apply for a $50 million construction grant."

Indianapolis is already well underway with planning for the Red Line—the first leg of the proposed system. Tuohy provides details:

"The Red Line is a proposed 28-mile, $100 million electric bus route from Westfield to Greenwood with several dedicated lanes and raised platforms. Nearly 170,000 people work within a half-mile of the route, and tens of thousands more live close to it, many in low-income neighborhoods."

Additionally, reports Tuohy:

"The Red Line would be one of five crisscrossing the city in the $1.2 billion system — called Indy Connect — and it's anticipated that they would prompt development nearby."

Tuohy's coverage was prompted by a visit from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who rode one of the system's electric buses along part of the proposed Red Line route, joined by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who has been pushing for the Indy Connect investment for years.

Secretary Foxx also announced that the Red Line would participate as one of seven pilot cities in the LadderSTEP program, which enlists the help of non-profit organizations for planning and development support. The non-profits that will assist the Red Line are as follows: LOCUS, the Urban Land Institute, Enterprise Community Partners, the natural Resources Defense Council, and the Local Initiatives Support Group.

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Published on Thursday, April 23, 2015 in The Indianapolis Star
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