Indianapolis, Indiana is shaping up to be one of the greatest “little” cities in America. With a population of over 800,000 people, many argue that the only thing holding Indianapolis back from becoming one of the best is its lack of a mass transit system. But that’s not to say that transportation hasn't been on the city’s mind. For many years now studies have been conducted to determine what a transit expansion plan would look like in Indy and how it would affect the city.
Indy Connect - a collaborative initiative between the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Agency, and Indy Go - was introduced to the public in 2010 in order to gain support from those living in Indianapolis who are interested in seeing more viable transit options. Many residents do not feel as though the current bus system serves the city as well as it could.
Indianapolis’ bus system, Indy Go, operates twenty-eight fixed bus routes that primarily provide service to the greater Indianapolis area. The Indy Connect Plan proposes to double the service of Indy Go in order to provide transportation to more Indianapolis residents and in the process, create new jobs. In addition, plans have included other options such as rapid transit lines and additions to existing bicycle and pedestrian pathways in Indianapolis.
The proposed Indy Connect Plan strives for community input and representatives have spoken to numerous neighborhood organizations, businesses, and residents in Indianapolis to gather feedback. This process occurs mainly through public meetings and forums in towns across multiple counties in central Indiana. Social media serves as an additional tool for feedback.
The implementation of a long-range transportation plan can heighten Indianapolis to its full potential. Many young professionals are flocking to cities these days and are looking for ways to be sustainable, using methods such as public transportation, walking, and biking. Mass transit seems to be just within grasp for Indy, and I look forward to seeing how the process develops over the next ten years.
Are you familiar with another city that is currently going through a transit expansion? In what ways do you think transportation plays a role in how residents and visitors view a city?
Credits: Maps and Images by indyconnect.org. Data linked to sources.