IndyGo will receive the $75 million in federal funding it expected to help it pay for the Red Line rapid-transit bus project, U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis, announced Friday.
The funding will cover most of the $96.3 million first phase of the Red Line, a proposed 13.1-mile bus route that will run between East 66th Street in Broad Ripple and the University of Indianapolis, with 28 stops along the way.
The project has been on hold for months while IndyGo awaited final approval for the funding. Officials had been hoping to start construction at the beginning of the year.
Carson said he received congressional notification on Thursday that the Department of Transportation will formerly approve the funding on May 13.
“Thank you to our congressional leaders for their support of transit and working hard to secure the funding necessary for this transformative project,” IndyGo President and CEO Mike Terry said in a written statement. “We are ready to move forward with final preparations for ground breaking.”
The federal government approved $50 million for the Red Line under former President Barack Obama, but it was unclear whether the other $25 million would be included in the Small Starts program under President Donald Trump. The $25 million will indeed come from a Small Starts Grant, Carson said.
The Red Line is the first of three bus rapid-transit lines designed to offer more frequent service along heavily traveled routes. The broad Marion County Transit Plan calls for the Red Line to be followed by a Purple Line and a Blue Line.
The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 17-8 in February 2017 to approve a Marion County transit tax to help fund the broader transit plan. The tax increase, which went into effect in October, costs residents with $100,000 in taxable income about $250 a year.
IndyGo said the additional tax would generate at least $54.4 million annually starting this year.