Here’s a map of the Indianapolis bus network as it will (ideally) look sometime around the middle of next decade, because talking about Indy’s buses has become fashionable, suddenly. Sources are this poster of the envisioned network, and individual maps for the Red, Blue, Purple, and Green Lines.
As for the restructure itself, I like that the city is getting a 15-minute frequent grid and some 10-minute limited-stop bus services. That is unquestionably an improvement. However, I don’t like that chunks of the south side of town lose bus service entirely (yes, yes, we’re talking hourly bus service, but most of the south side will still only have hourly service after the restructure and…those lines still did serve people*), the lack of through service through downtown (Apparently. Some buses might change routes going through the Transit Center, I don’t know), and that the Red Line isn’t true BRT with signal priority and exclusive, dedicated lanes for the entirety of its length. I mean, it’ll make taking the bus around Indy easier for me and a lot of other people, but I get the feeling that the pols there will sit back and say The Job Is Done And We Won’t Have To Change The Bus Network Ever Again Ever, as opposed to treating this as a first step toward more ambitious long-term goals such as, say, turn-up-and-go frequency on 86th Street.**
The Green Line is literally the only proposed LRT line I’d like to see built as BRT. For starters, it’s not exactly the ideal corridor for it. The Red, Blue, and Purple lines all run through denser neighborhoods, so if any line should get built as LRT in Indy it’s one of them. Second, BRT is the more frequent service as proposed, with 6 bph at peak as opposed to LRT’s paltry 4 tph. And finally, if they build it as LRT my gut says they’ll slack off and build it with only one track in the dedicated ROW, with all the attendant headaches if it gets popular enough to warrant increased frequencies. At least with BRT you’re more likely to get one lane each direction.
This is one of the maps I’m investigating having printed as a poster.
I will be in Indy this week, so if I have any further thoughts about IndyGo that are Too Long For Twitter they’ll probably be here.
*When it comes to the speed versus coverage debate w/r/t transit service I ultimately come down in favor of speed, but what I don’t think people fully appreciate about transit in sprawly non-coastal car-dependent cities like, say, Indianapolis, is that the built environment there is in many respects actively hostile to people who don’t/can’t drive. Redesigning a bus network to favor speed over coverage in such a place needs to come in tandem with redesigning the streets in affected neighborhoods so they favor pedestrians over cars.
**This would, of course, require some changes to 86th Street itself and the built environment around it, but we’re talking like 15 years in the future and a guy can dream.