On October 17th, 2011, the FTA awarded Indianapolis $2 million to conduct an alternatives analysis on what is termed, “Central Corridors”. (click here for the official FTA press release in .PDF format) This is direct from last year’s adopted Indyconnect plan that laid out future BRT lines along Washington Street east & west as well as BRT from Carmel to the southside of Indy along Keystone, College & Madison Avenues. Although the text is not particularly constricting, nor is it confining to the technology being BRT, what it DOES do is open the door to starting the analysis of the corridors. Local funding will be needed to match this and I do not know at this moment exactly where that will come from. Does it come along if Indyconnect is voted into existence next November? Does our MPO dig up the funding elsewhere? Regardless, I have a feeling that the local match will be found and that the study will move forward.
Now, whatever your feelings are regarding technology or specific route are irrelevant at this moment. The study of all of these corridors will evaluate the best service for the money available when the route would open. Obviously, I have been a big cheerleader of light rail along Washington Street as well as from Broad Ripple to Downtown and my preferred alternative would be light rail on these corridors. However, it remains to be seen what the alternatives analysis will turn out. The timing for the start of these studies matches closely with the completion of the NE Corridor AA/EIS process which will be wrapping up in 2012.
The grant says nothing about the BRT route for 38th street and frankly, I am unsure if this grant covers the route that would travel along College Ave. The north/south corridors are a little blurry at this point. However, as more information becomes available, you can be sure that Urban Indy will provide good information regarding these studies.
Editor’s Notes: Sorry for any confusion that may have erupted from my overuse of acronyms. I get used to the usual suspects showing up and knowing the jargon.
BRT – Bus Rapid Transit