August 20, 2014

What To Make Of The Purple Line?

What To Make Of The Purple Line?

Organizers are meeting with Indianapolis residents this week to discuss how a proposed bus rapid transit line along 38th Street would work.

Five rapid transit lines have been proposed. The Purple Line would run similar to IndyGo’s routes 38 and 39 on 38th Street between Lafayette Square and Lawrence.

Already this year, those routes have had more than one million riders.

Sean Northup, assistant executive director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, says the popularity of the current routes make it necessary to examine how to efficiently run the Purple Line.

"We are looking at studying some improvements like normalizing station spacing so it doesn't stop every block.  It would stop less frequently, run more quickly, more reliably, branding some of the stations putting better branded buses on that route," said Northup.

Indy Connect is hosting a series of public meetings to gauge interest in how the line could operate and get opinions on what users want. 

Rapid Transit is designed to reduce travel time by limiting stops and servicing larger groups of riders Northup says the Purple Line is unique because of the population density and low income areas it serves.

"West 38th Street is a little bit of a different animal.  It's far less densely populated.  It's got kind of a weird situation for transit where it becomes a highway between International Marketplace and the Art Museum," he said.  "But from International Marketplace West you have a lot of transit dependent populations and a lot of areas that are looking to redevelop and are very reliant on the transit system that they have."

Key stops along the Purple Line would include the Fairgrounds, Indianapolis Art Museum, and Lafayette Square Mall.

The first public meeting is Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Forest Manor Multi Service Center and Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gambold Preparatory High School.

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