August 31, 2023

Blue Line plans nearly complete for latest Indianapolis bus route

File photo/WFYI

File photo/WFYI

IndyGo presented nearly complete plans for Indianapolis’s Blue Line to the public this week – the city’s third bus rapid transit, or BRT, line.

IndyGo’s first BRT line, the Red Line, opened in 2019.  The Purple Line is under construction now. The Blue Line, with service from Cumberland to the Indianapolis International Airport, has hit a number of snags during the planning process. 

Last year, IndyGo announced the estimated project cost had ballooned to more than $500 million, twice as much as originally expected. IndyGo changed plans, and moved a westside section of the line to I-70, which has helped lower project costs. 

The Blue Line is now expected to cost between $370 and $390 million.

IndyGo Director of Capital Projects Matthew Duffy said the plan also saves commute time.

“Estimating a 25 to 35 percent reduction in travel time from end to end, which is really exciting for this route – it's IndyGo’s second highest ridership route behind the Red Line,” Duffy said.

There are 33 new BRT stations planned along the route.

The plans also detail lane configurations, and show 58 percent will be dedicated bus lanes. That is still in line with requirements for federal grant funding for the project.

Duffy said infrastructure improvements built into the project include new sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic signals and pavement resurfacing.

“Importantly, and critical to IndyGo, is how people are accessing transit so we know that the transit trip doesn't just begin and end when somebody gets on or off the bus,” Duffy said.

The Blue Line has been a frequent target at the Indiana Statehouse during the past two years.

There are two more public meetings planned for Thursday. 

The Blue Line is expected to open in 2027.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org

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