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Getting the Ball Rolling – Transit Day at the Statehouse!

This winter, despite bitter cold temperatures, all I can think about is how I would love for someone else to do the driving, as I strategically maneuver my 4×4 Jeep through snow filled streets.  However, I work near Pendleton Pike and Oaklandon Road, where there is not an Indy Go bus in sight.  As a new contributor to Urban Indy, I will be sharing my passion for mass transit and the news regarding it here in Indianapolis.

Indiana legislators are going through their lists of topics this session one by one, and soon to take the platform will be a topic of particular interest: Mass Transit.  As those apart of Indy Connect and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Organization begin to narrow down their recommendations for transit here in Indianapolis, the first voice to be heard on the subject this session can be yours.  The Indiana Citizens’ Alliance for Transit, or ICAT, will be hosting Transit Day this Thursday, January 23, 2014 at the Statehouse.  This will be an opportunity for residents of Indiana to speak with legislators and state representatives and voice their opinions about what needs to be done regarding transit in their respective communities.  The schedule of Thursday’s events is posted below, and more information is available at http://www.indianacat.org/transit-day/.

 

Event Schedule:

10:00 a.m. -  Rally at the Statehouse

10:30 a.m. -  Program and media event

11:30 a.m. -  Meetings with legislators

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Image courtesy of ICAT

 

 

17 Responses to “ “Getting the Ball Rolling – Transit Day at the Statehouse!”

  1. Localurbanite says:

    So nervous. We better be getting those rapid transit lines. Imagine being able to take a train or bus, not have to look at the schedule, and travel anywhere in the city.

  2. Paul K. Ogden says:

    Imagine living in a city which has a concentrated population that made a huge expenditure in mass transit feasible. That wouldn’t be Indianapolis.

    • Shayla says:

      Well, a concentrated population may not be what’s necessary as much as a change in mindset. There were opponents to mass transit expansion in Salt Lake City and Kansas City, MO, both cities with a respective population density of 1,666/sq. mile and 1,474/sq. mile. But, once the initial lines were up, and residents saw the benefit, the opposition began to wane. I believe once people here see the benefit gained from mass transit, they will be willing to invest more because they will see a return on their investment.

    • Eric says:

      Depends where you’re at in the city.

  3. Pat Stout says:

    Opponents to Nashville’s ‘Amp’ 7.5 mi. BRT line are concerned with initial traffic congestion it will create with the elimination of a traffic lane both directions. While different concerns arise between each, the same principals apply. Those opposing the expansion and funding of it do not see the long term additions it creates for density along it’s corridor and the efficiency that it moves people at. Indy’s plan is a REGIONAL effort and benefits citizens of several counties not only getting into the city, but also being effective for those within the city. The framework is in place, people just need to see a little further down the tunnel.

  4. dingo says:

    what an incredible waste of money. And it won’t pass in the donut counties so it’s going to end up (thankfully) being a boondoggle for Marion county residents. Enjoy higher taxes Indianapolis residents for a system you won’t use.

  5. Chris Barnett says:

    Like Shayla, I work off Pendleton Pike outside 465…in a part of Marion County with population density approaching 4,400/square mile that is unserved by transit currently.

    Even the IndyConnect plan doesn’t go far enough, as Pendleton is a linear low-to-moderate wage jobs and shopping corridor (Walmart, Kohl’s, Kroger, two Aldis, Dollar stores, lots of fast food, and lots of auto service) with sidewalks and it needs some kind of limited local service.

  6. Shayla says:

    I would agree Chris that the Lawrence/Oaklandon area is underserved by the current plan. There is an express bus on the plan that appears to go from approximately 56th and Post Road to downtown. However, at every meeting I’ve been to, the Indy Connect team has said the plan can expand based on demand and population growth changes. Perhaps once the plan is enacted and there is an express bus running from that area, they’ll be willing to expand the service. The proposed purple line is supposed to go to Fort Harrison. Maybe that can be re-routed along Pendleton Pike. But the basic plan with the first 3 lines has to get off the ground first.

    Re: Dingo
    I think the plan will work and it will attract new riders, 1) current residents, and 2) future residents. Let’s not ignore the evidence of transit oriented development that has taken place in other cities such as Kansas City, and now Cincinatti (who’s now getting a new streetcar).

    References:
    http://www.kansascity.com/2013/11/29/4659022/new-downtown-streetcar-carries.html

    http://citybeat.com/cincinnati/blog-5415-morning_news_and_stuff.html

    http://www.indyconnect.org/UserFiles/pdf/General%20Bus%20Frequency%20Map.pdf

    http://www.indyconnect.org/UserFiles/pdf/Long%20Range%20Map.pdf

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Shayla, two very easy solutions would be to re-route the north leg of the #4 on Pendleton to Franklin or Post instead of Shadeland to 56th, and extend the 87 Circulator route further north, to Pendleton or 56th. Costs would be minimal, and it would present many new options for ridership.

  7. Shayla says:

    That’s actually a great idea. I’m actually surprised that there is not a route along Pendleton Pike already. I think the area between 56th/Post road and Oaklandon Rd/Pendleton Pike would have a large ridership base if given the chance, especially for commuters out of Lawrence into other areas of the city.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Well, there is politics. Lawrence doesn’t pay the IndyGo tax currently, so IndyGo won’t extend service. Except: the #4 goes to DFAS and Ivy Tech, where obviously riders from outside Lawrence want to go, while avoiding the low-moderate income Southwest Lawrence neighborhoods along Franklin Road. Likewise, the #87 circulator cuts off at the Lawrence City limit instead of running up to Pendleton Pike or 56th, where jobs and activities are.

      I think that the jobs on Pendleton Pike are a “destination” for transit riders from outside Lawrence that IndyGo should serve through a couple of minor route adjustments. It’s tricky because it’s a corridor rather than a point, but there are plenty of “big enough” employers.

  8. paul says:

    Due to various reasons, I have now been going 40 days in Indy / no car from Meridian Kessler Neighborhood to Ben Davis area via downtown. It’s been crazy at the worst of times and 50 minutes at the BEST of times through IndyGo.

    I am curious to hear others experiences with the current system and having to connect through downtown. I have lived (and been car free) in many other bigger cities (Chicago, NYC, Washington DC), and obviously Indy needs a BRT or at bare minimum Express Crosstown buses.

    Thanks and I look forward to the replies.

    • ahow628 says:

      After living in Chicago and using transit in many locations, I think one big thing missing in Indy are transfers. I live in Fletcher Place and it is dumb for me to pay $1.75 to ride the bus 5 minutes downtown and then pay again to ride up to my daughters’ school on N Meridian.

      It sounded like once the transit center is built, transfers might be an option.

      The other big things I’m waiting for is a credit card refillable tap-and-go farecard and real-time GPS tracking.

      In any case, I still use IndyGo a decent amount as it is. It just requires a bit too much planning at this point to use it daily. Reduce the friction and more people will definitely use it.

      • Shayla says:

        Wait a minute…What?!! I had no idea you couldn’t get a discounted or free transfer on Indy Go. I use it whenever I go downtown, but I just take one bus the whole way through. I live near routes #3, 10, 11, and 21. Maybe their trying to encourage multi-day pass purchasing, and therefore cash paying customers don’t have the option of a discounted/free transfer. Either way that’s messed up. I lived in Chicago too for a year and 5 months total and cash paying bus users were able to ask the driver for a transfer when they paid. I believe CTA bus transfers are $0.25 and bus to rail transfers are $0.50, but the second transfer is free. Still, that’s ridiculous for Indy Go.

        • Chuck says:

          Yeah, you can get a 1-day, 7-day, or 31-day passes.

          I don’t ride often enough for a multi-day pass to make financial sense. I’ll typically buy a 1 day pass on the bus when setting out on a multi-leg round trip, if I have cash on me.

          It’d all be so much easier if transfers were included and I could top up my card from my phone.

    • Eric says:

      The problem with IndyGo is that buses operate pretty much the same way downtown as they do at 465. Too many stops and inaccessible from residents concentrated in the apt buildings lining 465. Planning fail.

  9. Eric says:

    Cities like Indy and Columbus, OH, are where the Big 3 really make their money. My suggestion to you is move within walking or bus distance to work, since that’s the most frequent commute, or move to a different city.

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