Could Indy's BRT Red Line Project Face Challenges Similar to Those Suffered by Albuquerque's ART?

The hustle and bustle of population-dense cities often serve as a catalyst for transportation innovation. Large cities all over the country are constantly looking to develop sustainable and efficient ways to serve their communities by providing reliable public transportation. The Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project in New Mexico and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line project in Indianapolis, Indiana are products of this ever-developing system in large cities.

The BRT in Indiana is establishing the Red line. The new route has been under development since 2013. It aims to connect the cities of Westfield, Carmel, Indianapolis, and Greenwood. It will provide wider transportation service in Marion County and joins the previously established IndyGo Blue and Purple lines. The Red line, however, will be a Rapid Transit line. Rapid Transit is described as “light rail on tires.” The BRT is dedicated to sustainability by operating with electric buses and efficiency by creating lanes solely for these buses.

The Red line promises to be the most employment-dense route, connecting commuters to various housing areas and retail spaces. It will also provide increased accessibility for more student and social trips. The line will hit the city’s hubs like downtown Indianapolis, Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, and all major hospitals.

Albuquerque's Project Has Not Been Without Troubles, Including Lawsuits

While these projects are developed with the public’s interests in mind, some may cause more problems than they solve. The ART has been the subject of public scrutiny since its inception and has already prompted two lawsuits. In addition to the lawsuits, the project has been plagued by issues like construction delays, overspending, and driver confusion.

The project was set to be completed in December 2017 but quickly fell behind. It now has no projected date of completion with the City of Albuquerque estimating it may take a year to resolve some issues. The major issues include problematic bus stations throughout the city, various safety concerns, and charging issues with the electric buses. The mayor of Albuquerque went so far as to call the project a “lemon.” Most recently, the City of Albuquerque has been debating whether to adjust traffic rules to accommodate the inconveniences construction has caused.

Indy's Project Faces Funding Delays Before It's Begun

Construction on the Indianapolis Red line was set to begin in early 2018. Federal funds for the line remain to be fully approved in Washington, D.C. causing an early delay in the project. Indianapolis residents, however, are already preparing for potential effects of construction on their businesses and everyday lives. Once construction begins, you can see how construction could affect your community here.

Keller & Keller is committed to community development and fully supports projects that will enrich our communities.

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