Transit Center Builds Momentum, Efficiency, Convenience

by Thomas P. Healy

Indianapolis’ renewed enthusiasm for public transportation is evident in the new Julia M. Carson Transit Center. Centrally located at the corner of Washington and Delaware streets across from the City-County Building plaza, the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) features 19 covered bus bays, free wi-fi, public restrooms, and a customer service center.

The DTC “greatly enhances passenger experience, offering real-time arrival information, safe and convenient transfers, and an indoor waiting area,” says Mike Terry, president and CEO of The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo).

With 21 fully electric buses in its fleet and a 1-megawatt solar array on its West Washington Street headquarters, IndyGo is gaining a national reputation as a leader in alternative energy transit. Energy efficiency was also included in the design of the DTC. According to Terry, IndyGo plans to apply for the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for the structure. To qualify, IndyGo must demonstrate how the building’s environmental impact was reduced during construction and detail plans for energy-efficient operation.

Terry said the design includes energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling. The streetscape is not only designed to aesthetically complement the Cultural Trail across the street but also to incorporate curbside rain gardens to manage storm water runoff. He said the $27 million project was made possible with $13.5 million in federal grants and funds from IndyGo’s Capital Cumulative Fund.

From Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology. See more here.

Construction was delayed when thousands of historical artifacts were discovered during excavation of the site last year. Because the project had received Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 required a review of the artifacts.

Amy Favret, a senior archaeologist/principal investigator with AECOM (formerly URS), was responsible for the review. In May she was awarded the 2016 Indiana Archaeology Award by the State of Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology for her exemplary work in researching and documenting early Indianapolis history uncovered at the site.  The site had previously housed a hotel, a livery stable and a smoke shop. Terry said IndyGo is working to preserve and display key pre-1880 artifacts including hand carved smoking accessories made of bone and two large safes.

Red Line Station Design Competition

IndyGo has announced a competition to foster creative design solutions for 28 rapid transit stations along Phase 1 of the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route.

This competition is a one-stage, open-ideas competition, and submissions will include two separate concept-level station designs—one for center platforms and one for curbside platforms. Designers should consider a station concept that maximizes the benefits of transit to riders, reflects the culture of Indianapolis and its neighborhoods, can be constructed and maintained in a sustainable manner, and conveys a sense of safety and elegance.

“The Red Line is an exciting project for Indianapolis and will significantly improve transit service for current and future riders,” Justin Stuehrenberg, IndyGo’s director of special projects, said in a statement. He said public input is an essential part of the competition, and a public voting component is included in the final judging and determination of the winner.

Submissions are due July 8, public voting information will be released in June, and the winner will be announced in early August. For more details, read the Red Line Design Competition Booklet at IndyGo’s web site.