I’m delighted watching as the drivers shriek. Now that’s entertainment. Shouldn’t we be contemplating “regional” development strategies like this?
A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System, by Aaron Renn (CityLab)
Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.
Let’s skip to the conclusion.
The credibility of transit in Indianapolis is already low, so the city really has to execute on the rollout. It also has to deliver an increase ridership, not just improve the operating characteristics of the system. That could be a tall order: The Red Line is going live at the same time as the new fare system, and as a new CEO is taking over the helm at IndyGo. IndyGo is going fare-free for a month when the Red Line launches, is recruiting temporary customer service volunteers to staff stations, and has arranged a grace period for ticketing bus lane violators (police will only issue warnings) until drivers in Indy figure out the new traffic pattern. Still, there are a lot of balls in the air, with much to potentially go wrong. Over the summer, the city announced a year-long delay in building the next two BRT lines—an inauspicious development.
But if Indianapolis can make its new system work and draw more riders, it would represent something all too rare in the U.S—a capital-light model for improving transit in a car-centric city. If warranted, light rail can always be added later, but as IndyGo’s Horne says, “The bus system is the backbone of any good mobility network.”