IN: Commuter Bus Lines Expanding to Plainfield, Whitestown

July 20--PLAINFIELD -- Even as public transit ventures in Carmel and Fishers struggle for funding, the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority is expanding commuter bus services to smaller communities in the metro area.

CIRTA plans to launch new routes in Plainfield and Whitestown this fall with the help of a federal grant, the authority has announced. They join three other express suburban bus routes, including the existing Plainfield Connector. All connect to IndyGo routes inside Marion County.

The announcement came just one week after the bus operator servicing another CIRTA route to Carmel and Fishers said it would need to raise rates or get a boost from local governments to stay afloat. It is uncertain whether either city will provide such assistance.

Meanwhile, Rich Carlucci and Dax Norton, the town managers for Plainfield and Whitestown, respectively, said the new routes to their towns represent critical economic development tools. And CIRTA officials praised the towns' willingness to help pay for the new connectors.

"These commuter services are important for people who need jobs and also for employers who need workers," said Patricia Castaneda, mobility manager for CIRTA, in a statement. "Plainfield and Whitestown have been incredible to work with, because they recognize the need and see the local value of these demonstration projects."

Here are the new routes:

--The Plainfield North Connector will pick up commuters at the IndyGo Route 8 stop on Bridgeport Road between Washington Street and Perimeter Road and make a loop on the north side of Plainfield. With stops throughout the All Points Midwest industrial park, it will primarily serve employees at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Prime Distribution and Ingram, the release said.

--The Whitestown Connector will pick up commuters at IndyGo Routes 37 and 86 and stop at Trader's Point. It will serve Anson Development employers including Amazon, Express Script, GNC and Weaver Popcorn.

Most of the costs will be covered by a three-year federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant, with some assistance from local governments.

Rides cost $1 with a valid IndyGo pass, or $3 without one. For more information, call (317) 327-7433 or visit www.cirta.us/pages/bus/.

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Call Star reporter Brian Eason at (317) 444-6129. Follow him on Twitter: @brianeason.

 

 

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