INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When Seth Johnson was 5 years old, a brain tumor left him nearly blind in one eye. It also left him ineligible for a driver’s license, so he uses IndyGo buses to get around Indianapolis.
“I take Ubers when the bus isn’t running, but that isn’t affordable all the time,” says Johnson.
He says hearing people complain about the inconveniences of construction for the Red Line bus rapid transit line is frustrating because he has had to rely on public transportation his entire adult life, which has been inconvenient.
“I would ask others to just empathize with the fact that the Red Line is going to help out so many people. Whether you might be inconvenienced by it or not, the fact that it is happening is huge progress for Indianapolis,” Johnson said.
Johnson grew up in an area without public transportation. Before moving to Indianapolis, he had to rely on friends and family to help him get anywhere he needed to go.
“Living in Indianapolis right now is the first time ever that I have actually been able to go places when I want to go and not rely on people to pick me up,” said Johnson.
More and more, he sees new people taking advantage of public transportation. Johnson said the IndyGo expansion of a bus rapid transit line has given him a new sense of freedom.
“The independence that IndyGo gives me is something that is so empowering to me and my life because I never had that growing up,” said Johnson.
While he understands drivers’ frustrations, he asks that people remember they aren’t the only ones that have to get to where they are going.
“I know that change can sometimes be a little bit hard to get used to, but I feel like if this city really wants to continue growing and continue being better and continue progressing to be a world class city, having great public transit is something that is vital,” said Johnson.
IndyGo gave this statement to News 8 on Sunday:
“IndyGo is committed to providing a reliable mobility option for all who count on us. And for those who have not ridden with us for awhile but are looking for another transportation option. For many Indianapolis residents, IndyGo is the only option and the Red Line will significantly improve efficiency and reliability of our public transit network.”
The Red Line is set to begin operating Sept. 1 and be free to ride for the whole month.
The rest of the IndyGo transit system will be free from Sept. 1-14.