IndyGo sets public meetings to hash over Red Line project

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IndyGo is hosting four public meetings this month to share updates on—and answer questions about—its Red Line Bus Rapid Transit project.

The Red Line is envisioned as a 35-mile bus rapid transit line that would run through Hamilton, Marion and Johnson counties, connecting Westfield, Carmel, Indianapolis and Greenwood. Total project cost is estimated at $198 million.

IndyGo is moving forward now on Phase 1 of the project, a 13-mile stretch running from 66th Street in Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis. Construction on this phase is expected to start in spring 2017, with routes open for service in fall 2018.

IndyGo Director of Public Affairs Bryan Luellen said some small details of the Red Line route have changed, mostly having to do with which side of the street bus lanes will occupy at certain locations.

The open-house style meetings are planned as follows:

— July 20 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with a brief presentation at 1:30 p.m.

— July 20 at Central Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a brief presentation at 6:30 p.m.

— July 21 at the College Avenue Branch Library, 4180 N. College Ave., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a brief presentation at 4:30 p.m.

— July 25 at the Big Car Tube Factory, 1125 Cruft St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a brief presentation at 6:30 p.m.

At the meetings, attendees also will get a chance to see submissions in a Red Line station design contest. IndyGo is soliciting ideas for the 28 stations to be built along the Red Line. Submissions are due July 8.

IndyGo is now in the process of putting together a jury panel to review the contest entries, Luellen said, and public input will be taken into account as well.

The first phase of the Red Line is expected to cost $96 million to build and another $6 million annually to operate.

In February, the Federal Transit Administration recommended the Red Line Phase 1 project for $75 million in funding from a federal grant program called Small Starts.

That funding recommendation is making its way through Congress now as legislators hash out the 2017 federal budget.

In the meantime, IndyGo is moving forward. Under the way the federal grants program is structured, funds are released only when projects are construction-ready.

Last week, IndyGo’s governing body, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp.’s board of directors, awarded two contracts for Red Line work worth $10.8 million.

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