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IndyGo Transit Hub

Minutes after the closing remarks were complete and the last of the press packed up their vans, we were left with a positive message to Live Indy. Mayor Ballard, a long time proponent of a stronger urban center, reinforced his position by declaring war on an urban population in flux. After decades of seeing people and job centers relocate to our adjacent neighbors’ counties, it appears that Indy has finally heard the message loud and clear. “We want a true urban center”! A center for families and young urban professionals alike. While an almost infinite amount of intangibles enter into this equation, One topic has been at the forefront of our struggle; transportation.

We have heard for many years, that our public transit is woefully inadequate for our population and out city size. We have seen plans go up for debate and collapse under political ruin. More recently, we have taken seriously, the need for an integrated center for our transit network. Just as Indy was home to the first of what became known across the country as “union stations”, we now needed to reinvent our hub. Too long, we have sat idle, content with overcrowded bus stops along Ohio Street to service our bus network. Minimal shelters from the elements failed to provide true shelter from oppressive heat and devastating cold. But finally the discussion of a transit center pushed towards the top.

What began with the dream of restoring Union Station to its full glory, was followed by the desire to craft a new building. A building purpose built for the modern system. Talks of ‘star’chitect Daniel Libeskind brought shock and awe to the discussion. We were all taken back when we learned that funds, appropriated for the hub, were reduced by almost half as plans sat idle. Perhaps a mixture of delight and disappointment set in as we learned that Libeskind had been removed as head architect for the project and ultimately, the firm. What would we be left with? An uninspired structure, simply creating the bus stop of the past, but with four walls and a door? Would we see anything?

Fortunately, we now have a look at what is to come:

IndyGo Transit Hub (view looking northwest from Alabama Street) Image Credit: Indygo.net

With its sweeping curves, glass facade and open, airy interior, it would appear that we finally have a modern center for our bus system to grow. No longer will a passenger feel second rate when waiting for a bus to get to their job, home or store.

IndyGo Transit Hub (view from City-County Building looking south) Image Credit: Indygo.net

The prominent upslope and glass wall of the west elevation is an appropriate transition from what will be the most modern neighborhood in the city (old MSA site) to one of our most treasured historic districts (The Wholesale District). Modern? Sure. Functional? Yes.

IndyGo Transit Hub (View from Delaware Street looking east at the proposed outdoor plaza) Image Credit: Indygo.net

What we have in front of us is the ability to grow, while providing what we need. This is a discussion piece that will, no doubt, have its critics. We will hear that it isn’t tall enough and that it should have been more of a mixed use structure. There will be questions as to the ability to serve BRT, LRT and inter-city bus service. There will be questions about adding more plaza space to a city which desperately needs to define the public spaces already available. There will be questions as to why Alabama Street is shown as a two-way street……..any takers? What I know, is that for what we need, for what Indy needs, this building meets it all. If this was our base design for structures in this city, imagine what we might look like today, tomorrow and decades into the future. I can’t wait to see it completed and con only imagine the energy this will bring to transit for our city. Besides, look how happy and comfortable most of these people are…….

IndyGo Transit Hub (View of the interior) Image Credit: Indygo.net

 

15 Responses to “ “IndyGo Transit Hub”

  1. AlanB says:

    Exciting. interesting that the interior renderings shows a mix of people very unlike the mix of people you see currently waiting at a downtown IndyGo stop. Intentional Aspirational?

  2. ahow628 says:

    This is probably the most obvious and noticeable piece of transit infrastructure missing in Indy right now. I’m more curious as to what this will bring in a less tangible sense to the IndyGo system though.

    To be specific, will this allow transfers to start happening? Living near downtown (a 15 minute walk for me), I can never justify hopping a bus in Fletcher Place for $1.75 and then hopping a second bus 5 minutes later for another $1.75. Most other transit systems I’ve used have transfers for free or cheap.

    Second, will this come with an equally modern ticketing system – credit card fare refill, refillable fare cards, tap-to-pay cards. It seems silly to build a beautiful, modern transit facility and have it stocked with old technology for buying fares.

    Finally, real-time bus tracking needs to be a central part of this transit center. If no one know when the buses are due to arrive, no one is going to stick around here. I have places to be and I want to know exactly when the bus will be there or else I’m just going to find another mode of transportation that I can rely on.

    I know these aren’t directly related to the design and form of the transit station, but I think they will contribute directly to its success. I just hope IndyGo leadership and the city leadership are on the same page and making a combined effort to make this succeed.

    • Joe Smoker says:

      The rendering shows that there will be real time bus arrival information, so hopefully this isn’t a glitch.

      I completely agree that paying two or more fares because you have to transfer is a hindrance to choice riders and an unnecessary burden to non-choice riders.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      So buy a day-pass for $4 when you get on the first bus. That effectively gives you the two transfers you need (one going in and one coming home) for an extra 50 cents.

      • ahow628 says:

        That is what I would typically do, but doesn’t really help when going one way.

        And it is kind of beside the point because I don’t really want to have to carry cash and make a transaction at that time. I just want a tap-to-pay card and be done with it. The current set up is unnecessarily complicated because of the lack of technology.

  3. James says:

    Wish they wouldn’t show the angled parking on Washington Street. Make it parallel so when the powers that be finally get a brain and convert Washington and Maryland back to 2-way streets it won’t be such an expensive undertaking.

  4. Marshall says:

    Ehh… looks fairly uninspired to me, at least compared to the original vision. What happened to the mixed use component that was initially proposed? If you ask me, it looks like a cross between our airport and a rest area somewhere on I-69 on the way to Chicago. That said, virtually anything would be an improvement over that mess of stops and littered sidewalks currently along Ohio Street / Capitol Avenue.

  5. Mav-1 says:

    Not as inspirational as it was originally depicted to be, but more than likely appropriate for what it is, a bus station. Certainly is a big step forward and raises the profile of IndyGo. Hope they planned for the BRT or LRT station to be included. Would really like this if it was a true hub for the system. One concern is bike parking. I did not notice any on first examination.

    • Matt says:

      Based on the IndyGo survey, it sounds like there is some space in this design that they haven’t quite decided how to use yet. Sounds like they’re trying to decide if they should place shops, or offices for the car share / bike share.
      One way or another, they simply MUST provide stations for those two systems. It would probably be the most heavily used bike share station in the city. I also hope that they provide covered bike racks for privately owned bikes to lock up to.

      Secure bike lockers would also be ideal here:
      http://bgifitnesscommercial.com/about/indiana-bikeport-home-pg131.htm

      • Andrew says:

        I think bike lockers would be unnecessary here due to the closeness to the bike hub. I think bike/car share space would be more important in this location. I also think a news stand would be great as well. Either way glad to see this is happening. Maybe with this change we can see some calming/parking on Ohio.

  6. Shayla says:

    Indy Go has a survey on their website for the transit center. They’re asking people what more would we like to see. There will also be public open houses where they will take feedback regarding the design. One question that I didn’t like was that it asked me to choose between seeing a cafe and bike share facilities. Hopefully that’s a kink they can work out and surely we can have both.

    http://www.indygo.net/pages/downtown-transit-center

  7. jefferson says:

    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME ROOM FOR RETAIL OR MAYBE A MCDONALDS, TACO BELL,SUBWAY, A COFFEE SHOP MAYBE SOME KIND OF CONVENIENT STORE OR BAKERY, HOW ABOUT ALL THOSE I MENTION IT WOULD GIVE THE PEOPLE ENJOYMENT OF A BUS TERMINAL THATS OF CONVIENCE AND FUNTIMES SOCIALLY FRIENDLY.

  8. Joe Smoker says:

    I don’t think the bike share office would be the main office for the system, but I could be wrong. I do firmly believe that bike share must be a big part of this station and the integrated system. Bikes are great for making connections from the end of your transit trip to your final destination. I’d be surprised if some sort of retail didn’t want to set up shop. Even a relatively small scale newsstand type with snacks would seem like it could do well for bus riders. I know I would have loved that option for several Megabus delays!

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