Plainfield Connector

On October 1st, a new circulator bus will launch to connect IndyGo Bus number 8 with the Plainfield warehouse district.  The need for this bus is sort of a microcosm of the new economy: warehouses are often located in car-dependent suburban areas, but they are increasingly hiring more employees from Indianapolis without the means to own a vehicle.  I looked around to find a map of the route, and I came up empty, so I decided to sketch up the route that was described in the Indy Star article:

The frequency of the service seems a bit low, with 6 buses in the morning and 8 in the evening. Regardless, it beats taking the bus out to Bridgeport and walking a few miles along busy roads without pedestrian infrastructure, as is described in this article. The article refers to Chattanooga, but it could just as easily be happening here.

Comments 10

  • Plainfield on the move.

  • Sounds like the connector that was just axed, the one that cost 10 times to run than was charged. The Plainfield Connector costs $3 to ride; but the scheme is predicated on an absence of available workers in Plainfield, which is laughable…there’s a LOT of un- and under-employed people out there. They don’t take the warehouse jobs in their own backyard because (a) the pay is just above minimum wage (b) frequent drug-testing and (c) new hires get 2nd or 3rd shift.

  • The route all the way to Bridgeport seems to be an admission that Plainfield was able to suck a great deal of airport-related development away from Indy once the airport turned its back on Indy with the new terminal. The real problem I have with Plainfield is that Metropolis is in the middle of nothing. It’s not connected to the traditional downtown and it’s not connected or even close to any housing or employment.

  • Let me make it clear that I don’t love the warehouses in suburbia economy. However, it exists, and I think that it is a good thing that CIRTA has found a way to connect people to those jobs. I hope in the future there are more jobs to be had at a wider payscale within the city.

  • what will be the total cost to take a trip from inner city north or east side and back? how much time expended (time is money), and can you work a 2nd (especially) or 3rd shift and still get back home? Any estimates? I do like the idea, and am aware the impetus is probably the warehouse district needs, not concern for full employment that does not require a government program that often produces no useful result. Comments?

  • I would ask what the cost of driving from the same places all the way out there? Cost of owning a vehicle of sufficient dependability to make the trip daily, insurance, upkeep and gasoline?

    Sure, the money out of pocket to take the 8 out, board the new connector and then back at the end of the work day may sound large at first glance, but consider what these low wage workers are asked to endure just to get these jobs in the first place?

  • for some people the choice is not between a car and a bus, it is does the fare leave you enough money to bother working there. If you gross $65 per day before taxes and social security, and then pay $10? net for transport AND spend 8 hours working and 4 hours commuting it starts looking marginal. ALSO, the partial question was getting home from 2nd shift. A bus link that might (I don’t know here) leave you stranded on Monument circle from midnight to 4 am means you have to have or share a car at least part of the time. Just a thought.

  • You can purchase a 31-day bus pass from IndyGo for $60 and can ride it as many times during the day needed. Once you reach age 65 a 31-day pass costs only $30. I rode the #8 from Irvington to the Airport 4/5 times a week for 5 years until I retired Dec 31, 2013. It added 15 hours on my weekly schedule, but it was worth not having to drive my van everyday which was killing me in gas…..I was spending anywhere from $60/$70 in gas weekly depending on the price of fuel. I would get off work at 9pm but the bus didn’t come to the airport until 9:45, so I would have to wait 45 minutes. The last bus leaves at 11:04pm….you miss that one and the next one comes at 5:30a.m.! I was fortunate not to have to transfer from another bus to connect to the #8 Airport……that alone could have added 5/6 more hours to my already added on 15 hours just to get to my job! Now, if you have to work on Sunday, if you don’t get off work before 7:30 pm you need to make other arrangements to get home because the last bus leaves the airport at 7:30p.m. on Sundays. IndyGo wasn’t thinking when they made these schedules…..some connector buses don’t even run on Sundays at all. The routes going to Greenwood Mall are the same way…they need to restructure this route big time! If they would restructure these routes more people would ride the bus. My doctor for 5 years is on Dan Jones Road in Plainfield….when I was driving this was convenient for me since I worked at the airport. Now for my last appointment with this facility I have to take the #8 to Washingon & Bridgeport Road and connect to the Plainfield Connector ($3.00….I heard if you get off IndyGo Bus it only costs $1.00), but it will only take me to Perry Road & Washington, then I have to walk to Dan Jones Road & Washington which is probably a good 4 miles…..I’m almost 65. I’m not even sure they’ll let me get off at Perry & Washington. If it’s not a regular bus STOP they probably won’t let me.

  • To take a TAXI CAB these days it’s ridiculous the cost! I called a cab last summer to take me from Washington & Emerson to Beech Grove…..MAYBE 5 or 6 miles……$3.50 just to open the door to the cab and get in. We traveled 3 blocks and had to wait at the light…..the meter was still running and before we reached Washington St. the fare was already $11.00!!!
    It cost me $65 for a ONE-WAY ride to Beech Grove……never again!! $65 would have got me to Cincy and back. The cab was filthy and so was the driver.

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