Save the date: Urban Indy Red Line Meetup, September 14

On September 14th, starting at 4 pm, Urban Indy will host a Red Line Meet-up. Here’s our tentative schedule:

4-5 Twenty Tap, at 54th and College

Using the nice new IndyGo Ride Planner, we will plan to catch the Red Line downtown to the Transit Center at 5:06 pm.

Image Credit: Indygo

Dinner downtown at Pearl Street Pizza, which is about a block away.

Ride the Red Line again to the end of the line, starting at 6:43 pm:

Image Credit: Indygo

This stop on the Red Line is conveniently right next to a Books and Brews location. Many of the establishments along the southern end of the Red Line will be participating in a special Red Line event on this day, so the atmosphere should be festive.

From that point, I will be traveling back to the north on…guess what? The Red Line! Imagine a bus service that doesn’t close up shop at about 9:30 pm. As a reminder: the last time I did a special IndyGo bar night, I had to take a taxi home. We’re getting there, Indy.

Any others that wish to join me on the trip back north are more than welcome. Did I mention that the Red Line is free to ride for the entire month of September?

Comments 46

  • Wish I could be there!

  • Update: I have created a facebook event. I don’t use Facebook much anymore, but it seemed like an easy way to do this.

  • For the money it costs you could have used limo or free uber

    • I have no idea what this means.

    • Let me know when I can ride Uber an unlimited number of times for $4 in a day, Lynda.

    • Where can I get these magical $4 limos rides you are taking? Gosh, I could have everyone think I am living such a fancy life.

      If you are referring to the $96.3 million cost of the infrastructure, which included a substantial amount of street maintenance and pedestrian improvements (the work was not just for creating the bus lanes and stations), compare it to building or rebuilding highways. The final leg of the multi-billion dollar and much delayed I-69 expansion will go over an area already served by a state highway, and it is projected to cost $1.6 billion. It will cover twice the distance of the Red Line, so half the cost would be $800 million. Or, only within Indianapolis, look at the rebuilding of just one interchange, the I-65/I-70 North Split, which will cost a whopping $300 million. Of course, all these roads come with substantial ongoing maintenance costs.

  • Does the Red Line go anywhere near IUPUI?

    • Not quite, but it is walkable. The closest stations to IUPUI are at Capitol and Vermont, and Capitol and 9th.

      • IUPUI’s JagLine
        is connected to the Red Line.
        “Route 5 (Purple), which goes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., provides a north-south connection, with stops at the Madam C.J. Walker Theatre Center, Lockefield Village, the Tower and the Campus Center. Route 5 will also link up with the IndyGo Red Line starting Sunday, Sept. 1, at the northeast corner of Vermont Street and Capitol Avenue. Riders should look for “Jagline Shuttle to IUPUI Campus” signage. The frequency will be 20 minutes. “Connecting to the Red Line fits in with our strategic vision of expanding and investing in other transportation solutions for our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” said Sheri Eggleton, director of IUPUI Parking and Transportation Services.”
        h/t the head librarian

  • Hi, Kevin. I just signed up via Facebook. Do you have the “through” date correct, though?

  • I don’t understand why if this thing was so necessary, and so clamored for, so easy and efficient to use, why is everyone still trying so hard to sell it. Why do they need to give a month away for free (which is really just tax payers subsidizing it), why all of the efforts and parties.

    It’s just a bus people. A bus, not a teleportation device. A bus that runs the same north to south route that two other buses have run for literally 3-4 decades. Calm down.

    • It is a rollout of a new type of service to the city, one hoping to attract people who historically have not been mass transit users in addition to existing customers. Marketing the service, how it operates, and offering a free trial period is pretty standard practice for this type of thing.

    • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m celebrating increased mobility and frequency of service. I’m celebrating Indy finally making a move towards becoming a city with a diverse set of transportation options. I’m celebrating all of the battles that advocates have fought just to get this far. From the first State House votes (not easy), to the Public Referendum, to the City Council, and then finally to a Federal Government that is no longer a reliable backer of transit.

      Finally, it’s not the same line at all. So there’s that. Going from 54th and College to U of Indy would likely take a rider nearly 2 times as long as it will once the Red Line opens up.

    • The Red Line BRT system and service is to “just a bus” as the Boeing 747 was to the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. It is indeed something to celebrate.

  • It’s not a new type of service. It’s a bus. Apologies. It combines 3 existing routes and it would only take approx another 20 mins from 54th and College to U of Indy. You can today catch the bus to the transit center, transfer because the route overlap, and keep south. You could have down the same thing for decades before the transit center opened.

    My point was that it was sold as a necessary addition that people were already wanting and the city was suffering by not having it. Then why the need to market the bus is of people were already looking for it?

    It is also on increasing one type of mobility. It seriously reduces safe bike travel along College and Virginia. There’s so little margin of error for cyclists now. When ever you say yes to one thing, you say no to another. Not to mention those ugly white dividers.

    Some people just value different things. But, it’s a bus.

    • Yes. It is a bus. But BRT is a pretty large step for making bus travel more mainstream in Indys urban core. The central platforms, soon-to-be app-based ticketing, and conceptually increased reliability is what sets it apart from the current aged transit system. The biggest service improvement for those who actually need it and have been asking for it will come with the Blue and Purple lines, but I understand why they started with the Redline for publicity sake. Having multiple BRT lines will be a huge step up once complete.

      Now to your bike safety issue, I don’t know that I follow… Bike travel along college is handled by the parallel Monon, so moving the busses from the car lane to a bus lane doesn’t make a difference. Similarly, the cultural trail handles bike travel along Virginia. That said, I don’t bike these routes regularly so I may be missing something here…

      • It would have been suicide to ride a bike on College PRIOR to the RedLine, as cars treated it like a highway, often exceeding 50/60 MPH, weaving in and out of lanes. At least with the significant traffic calming measures that the RedLine brought, it’s more practical to ride a bike on it now, or, at least cross College on a bike far more safely. Although, the Monon is obviously the better option for cyclists.

        And, finally, the BRT clearly is a new type of service. Yeah, it uses a bus – but as it’s configured, the time savings are significant and far, far more reliable. Yeah, existing routes can get you where you want to go – eventually, after long delays, with unreliable pick-up times.

        The evident need for marketing the BRT is quite obvious from reading your post: like a lot of people, your reflex is to think “it’s just a bus, on the same route, no different.” Well, like it or not, it ain’t the same: real time tracking, every 10 minute pick-up, far faster routes, etc. So, yeah, marketing it and getting people on the BRT to try it, is necessary to overcome the understandable bias.

    • Robert, if you don’t know that most people opt to use the Monon instead of College and the Cultural Trail instead of Virginia, then it is fairly obvious that you do not ride a bike in this city.

    • “ugly white dividers”? If that’s the nit we’re choosing to pick then the Red Line is already a success.

      • Adding a few extra run times and stations is not a new service. That’s like saying adding the transit center was a new service. It’s still a 20th century bus system. I’m not biased against it out not knowing. I’m biased against it because I’ve studied it and similar systems around the county and most of them are not sustainable without continued subsidies. Most don’t meet their promises and the bar for success keeps moving. It’s just bad public policy.

        Yes it is happening. So now like any policy it’s time to police it. Will it meet its goals? What are its goals? Is it safe? If it’s so safe then why did IndyGo have to be threatened with a FOIA request to release the public safety plan?

        Yes the dirty white divider poles does bother me. I used to like sitting at places like 20 Tap and seeing the view. Now all I see are these dirty white dividers and the sidewalks littered with scooters. Kill the curb appeal in the name of transit I guess.

        Yes Paul-I ride a bike in this city and have for years. I ride a Fuji Comp Cross. I live in Broad Ripple and ride downtown and to Jiu-Jitsu. Sometimes I take College, sometimes I take the Monon. They are also having to adjust for cyclist on Capitol to make it safer for them. I saw someone get hit by a car in Virginia just three weeks ago trying to get from the street back on the trail. They were in the street because the trail was packed.

        Paul’s comment-I think that’s what’s always bugged me about this entire project, and the missed opportunity this site accepts. There is always this attitude of “If you don’t agree with whatever the New Urbanist Agenda is pushing, then you are uninformed, backwards, lying, or (insert dismissive adjective) here.

        But that’s my point and I’ll exit this space. I really really hope and pray that this city can understand that people come here for many reasons and not all of them align with what urbanist/progressive idea of what they think a city, or life in general, should feel like. I personally don’t want the easiest route to everything. It makes us soft. It’s not an age thing, or a from Indianapolis thing, I’ve live in some of the densest cities in the country. I prefer open streets.

        But we will see. I hope this thing is successful so that my money isn’t wasted. I hope I’m wrong about all of it. I doubt it. But we will see.

        • I would be interested in what Robert thinks are the reasons that people have to move to Indianapolis. Surely not because of some find memories of Indianoplace and Naptown. We have had friends visit us here from all parts of the country, and the are beyond pleasantly surprised at the vibrancy, diversity, and amenities our city has. And it is only getting better.

          • Yep, we have friends and coworkers from other cities visit Indy and the number one comment is “Wow, Indy is great. I had no idea.”

        • Robert, I am not sure what scooters have to do with the Red Line, but as for the “dirty white dividers,” infrastructure gets dirty when used. Indianapolis has plenty of dirty streets and sidewalks, and no one uses that as a reason they should not exist. Also, when something gets dirty, the usual solution is to clean it.

          As for reasons why people move to Indy, I do not think anyone has ever in its history claimed it is an urbanist’s nirvana, but I also do not think putting a semi-dedicated bus lane along a single city corridor either significantly changes the nature of the city, nor serves as a harbinger of some grand “progressive scheme” to reshape the city. Historically, the city had dedicated transit on the same corridors as the Red Line for many decades, including well into the period of widespread private automobile ownership.

          In most places, including many smaller cities, the installation of something like the Red Line would be viewed as just a sensible expansion of a city service. I can understand some people being annoyed by the inconvenience of the construction, construction is always inconvenient, but all the handwringing and predictions of gloom and doom for the city post-Red Line, don’t seem so much “uniformed” or “backwards” as they do hysterical and melodramatic.

    • College has the Monon blocks away. And actually I have founds parts of College bikeable now with more stop lights.

      Virginia has the Cultural Trail. No need to be on the road and VA road hasn’t changed a bit.

    • It is a bus like the Cultural Trail is a sidewalk.

      BRT and all of the routes involved are a potential gamechanger much like the Cultural Trail has proved to be a boon for connectivity, bike/pedestrian traffic, civic pride, and national media attention for Indy.

    • Why the need for decades of lobbying and then several billions of dollars spent on a massive project that has been delayed for years just so people can save about 30 minutes driving form Evansville to Indianapolis? The state functioned perfectly well for many, many years with the state roads that existed before it. But, apparently even though that project was sold as a vital traffic improvement and economic development project, every construction milestone has been announced with great fanfare and there are press conferences constantly assuring Hoosiers of what a great investment of their tax dollars this has been.

      So, it is okay to lobby and advertise road projects and put out a steady stream of propaganda about what a wonderful investment of tax dollars they are, but making efforts to introduce an improved form of public transit to the city (buses with dedicated transit lanes are new to the city) and boost a public investment in the city’s bus system s somehow suspect?

      Yes, I guess some people just value different things.

  • Rubert, too late it is happening. CHILL!

  • Let me first say that the idea of a bus service running every ten minutes with decent travel times, i.e. not potentially stopping at every block and spending lots of time loading/unloading and waiting to get back into traffic is very exciting. Having said that, one of the concerns I’ve had, as somewhat mentioned by Robert, is the impact of pushing the driving lanes up against the curb/sidewalk at every station intersection. I’ve enjoyed outdoor dining at Twenty Tap, but am concerned that it will be less inviting with passing or stopped idling vehicles 8-10 feet way instead of 16-18 feet away when parking was allowed there. I haven’t been there since the changes were made, so can’t speak to it firsthand yet.

    The typically slower speed of vehicles should make being outside of a car along College Avenue more pleasant, but I wish there would’ve been a way to design it without taking away all of the off-street parking near the commercial node intersections, because these are typically the places where the sidewalks, somewhat ironically are pushed right out near the curb. So, in the middle of the blocks, pedestrians will continue to have the double buffer of a row of off-street parking and a tree lawn. But near the node intersections, where we expect more pedestrians to congregate, there is now typically neither barrier from vehicle traffic.

    Add in the fact that you still have very narrow sidewalks, sometimes with utility poles right smack in the middle, or missing sidewalks altogether on many of the east-west arterial or collector streets that should feed the stations, and I think there’s fair reason to worry about how successful the Red Line will be. It should be a great improvement for those who already rely on bus service in these areas, and for some who will choose it b/c they’ve been clamoring for such a service. But, for the Red LIne to actually be a transformational success, it needs to be able to win over some of its critics, as well as people who are pretty indifferent. Those are the choice riders who will be critical to its success or failure, not just those of us who have been excited about it all along.

    • I fail to see how the width of sidewalks will play a major role in the success of the Red line.

    • Paul,

      I had the same concerns that you did about the Twenty Tap outdoor seating and various other places. I have been there once since the Red Line traffic arrangement went into effect. The traffic calming effect of the new design is huge, it is just all around a much more pleasant street to be around outside of a car. There is no one going 50 mph jockeying for position, or wildly passing a car turning left. This is also my experience on College in a car. You go about 30-35 mph and just kind of cruise along. They still need solutions for the lights at 54th & BR Ave but the bus did beat me from 38th to 54th during rush hour (5:15) when I had an already pretty clear path up to that light.

  • There was a comment somewhere above asking about connectivity to IUPUI. The new campus shuttle service has added a stop at Capital/Vermont so that people can transfer to/from the Red Line. I think that shuttle route goes to the IUPUI campus center as well as a couple other places.

  • My wife works downtown and she took the Red Line to work this morning from 54th and College. She said the bus was packed and it took about 40 minutes but it was a lot better that driving. She’s now considering cancelling her monthly parking downtown.

    • My wife did 38th/Meridian to Statehouse which was 20 minutes station-to-station and just under 30 minutes door to door. I noted that when she got on, the bus was 2 minutes late and when she got off, it was 6 minutes late. There were two stops that were “long” where the bus sat for about 2 minutes at the station for no apparent reason.

      • I didn’t use it today but from everyone who did it sounds like it was packed and probably running 10-15% slower than it should. This seems understandable but I never envisioned that the free period would be so popular that I would be hoping for a return to fares so things can get normalized.

    • I took the Red Line this morning from 52nd to the Statehouse stop.

      The app said a bus was 10 minutes out, with a bus one the map at the northern turn-around. I left the house, because it looked like it would arrive faster. There appeared to be a glitch between 2 buses. The bus arrived about 18 minutes later.

      The bus was quite full at 52nd and there were only a few seats next to already seated passengers (much like there would have been on the 17 bus). Both bike racks and all seats were occupied before 38th Street. Many people continued to board along the route and the bus was packed (way more people than the 17 bus, which was always full for the morning commute).

      The app didn’t seem to track the bus location very well. Also, my bus had no passenger count (reading of 0). I’m unclear who counts passengers without the fare system being active.

      One actual issue – a guy with a bike tried to board at 38th/Meridian. The bus driver told him the racks were full. He protested that he and friends had up to 8 bikes on a bus this weekend without issue. Eventually, he backed down and got off with his bike. Personally, I don’t see much of an issue with excess bikes stacked between the bikes in racks, as you would not be blocking the exits.

      The ride took about 25-28 minutes, which is comparable to driving with the recent various downtown construction projects. I also didn’t have to find a spot in my parking garage, which often takes more time than people realize.

  • It’s a learning curve for heaven sake. Taking it weds when I fly into Indy and need to get to the north side. Transit often waits for schedule or for on coming bus/train.

  • Seeing several social media comments about full bike racks. Will be interesting to see if IndyGo planning did not anticipate # needed or if we are just in an adjustment period.

    I can;t recall specifically, but on recent light rail rides in Denver and Portland, I think two bike slots on a car was the norm with racks available every other car.

  • Choreographing the buses so they indeed arrive at a station every ten minutes should not be that complicated. ot sure what technology is utilizing to do that, but staying more than 45-60 seconds at a station can throw everything off. Also, IMO the buses should have priority at the signals so the service really is “rapid” (this weekend buses waited for parallel traffic to execute left turns, which seems counter-productive).

  • What is up with the buses pulling up the middle lane already? There are at least 40 of them loose on College and about 15-20 missing? How will this work with brittle winter roads and snow plows?

    It has only been 10 days and it looks like its a year old. Just curious about how my money/time is spent.

    • Stuff happens. Ever done a home reno? You end up with a punch list of unexpected developments. No doubt this will be fixed.

      • It is literally the first week and this is happening. It actually started before that. Someone should lose their job over it.

        Home renovations do not include violent complusion. We should expect more from our government.

        And yeah, this city, and this adminisration in particualar has a stellar track record on repair streets in a timely and efficent manner.

  • I’m going to lock the comments on this thread. Obviously, there are some issues to work out with the Red Line. I’d prefer to hash those issues out later. I’ve deleted a few of the most recent comments. Personally, I need more information before commenting on this issue.

    Meanwhile, this Saturday’s meet-up is still on. Looking forward to this. I’ve ridden the Red Line on 4 seperate days now, and each time has been either ok (with some delays), or very good. We might not be able to follow the strict schedule outlined on the origninal blog post. I’ll make location updates on the facebook event on Saturday. Be at 20 Tap at 4 pm.