The consultant, Kansas City, Mo.-based HNTB Corp., has been told to focus on three possible sites: Union Station; the former home of Market Square Arena; and property near IUPUI.
IndyGo repeatedly over the years has explored the possibility of building a central hub for its buses and passengers. An earlier study suggested a transit center on the site of the main post office on South Street, but the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium next door made it too expensive to acquire the site, said Mike Terry, IndyGo's president.
Both Union Station and the Market Square Arena property are owned by the city. Union Station could make sense because it already receives Amtrak and Greyhound traffic. The MSA site could be a tougher sell since a bus depot could discourage residential or retail development.
Another possibility for the hub is on parking lots on IUPUI's campus.
"The key is we need to get our buses and people who are using them off of the downtown circulation between Ohio, Capitol and Delaware streets," Terry said. "That's putting too much stress on downtown."
The consulting firm, chosen this week from eight bidders, is charged with reviewing bus routes and potential bus routes to select the best location.
The $250,000 study will be paid for with leftover federal grant money from the last study. IndyGo also hopes to secure federal funds to build the hub.