Red Line Wars

Not on board: Red Line haters lost the war, but their battle cries will probably continue.
Construction starts soon on the 13-mile Bus Rapid Transit system, pretty much Indy’s first major mass-transit improvement since Union Station opened in 1853. For the 59 percent of Marion County voters who supported funding it, that’s good news. But some disagree:

The Sustainability Skeptics
This group suspects that Indy residents won’t take to the Red Line because the city doesn’t need it. They say we don’t have the population density to support it or a traffic problem to solve. So they definitely won’t like the idea of expanding BRT by 29 more miles across a second and third line, both of which have passed the first funding hurdle.

Midtown Homeowners
The Red Line will restrict left turns for cars along stretches of College and Meridian, meaning drivers will start using roads through residential areas more frequently. Some residents don’t want the short-cutters—and wonder if IndyGo will foot the bill to fix road damage caused by the spike in traffic.

The Parking-Spot Police
The most vocal opponents of the Red Line belong to a group of business owners on College Avenue between 46th and 54th streets. Many of them will see a sharp reduction in nearby street parking—enough that they worry about a drop in business, or worse.

The Unsatisfied Urbanists
These civic-planning geeks wanted more, including dedicated lanes. Sixty percent of the Red Line route is car-free, but on nearly half the trip, the bus will still be susceptible to getting stuck behind a car turning left, potentially affecting ride times and punctuality.
— Matt Gonzales


Next Stop, Buyer’s Remorse?
Albuquerque was supposed to have the country’s first Bus Rapid Transit line with a fleet of electric buses, but the manufacturer, China-based BYD, missed the deadline. Plus, the city has had to return seven buses it did receive to fix “serious issues.” IndyGo expects 13 buses, costing $1.29 million each, to begin arriving from BYD in December. What could go wrong? — Chris Ryan