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Rapid transit could be on its way to Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Rapid transit could soon be on its way to Indianapolis, after years of planning.

IndyGo is applying for a federal transportation grant to begin work on a rapid transit bus system. The first phase of the proposed system, called the Red Line, would connect Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis.

IndyGo will apply for the grant in September and find out if it gets it next April. IndyGo told 24-Hour News 8 the project is contingent on the grant, but IndyGo may apply again in the future if it doesn’t receive this grant. If it does get the grant, construction could start in 2017 and the Red Line could be up and running by 2018.

According to IndyGo, the Red Line would stop every half a mile, starting at 66th Street and College Avenue and working south through downtown to Hanna and Madison Avenue. IndyGo said the travel time from Broad Ripple to downtown would be competitive with driving, taking about 20 minutes.

“There will be prepaid ticketing and all the doors will open at the same time, you’ll wait on an elevated platform above the streets. It’s 15 inches, so level-boarding. You can wheel your bike or wheelchair right on to the vehicle, the stop time at each station will probably only be about 15 seconds,” said Bryan Luellen with IndyGo.

IndyGo believes a rapid transit system would encourage business development in Indianapolis.

“So at 46th and College for example, where the Double 8 Foods has closed and there hasn’t been anything at that corner in forever — putting a rapid transit stop there, with lots of people coming through is really going to reinvigorate the market and attract development,” said Luellen.

Eventually, the Red Line would extend from Westfield all the way to Greenwood.

The Red Line would have designated bus lanes, meaning the city would lose some of the parking along College Avenue, Capitol Avenue and Meridian Street. Before making those changes, IndyGo wants to hear from the public. It’s hosting a series of public meetings throughout August. To find out more about the meetings click here.