IndyGo secures nearly $81 million for Purple Line BRT project

Aug. 25, 2021
The CIG funds awarded by FTA will help deliver a 15.2-mile BRT route that will connect downtown Indianapolis to the city of Lawrence.

The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) Purple Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project to connect downtown Indianapolis to the city of Lawrence secured an $80.975 million-grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through its Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

The $162-million project includes 18 news stations on its 15.2-mile route that will serve some of the highest concentrations of low-income and zero-car households in central Indiana.

"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to advancing equity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through robust investment in our nation’s public transportation systems," said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. "This BRT project will expand transit options in and around Indianapolis and improve access and mobility in the areas where people need it most."

The Purple Line BRT will replace an existing local bus route and serve a total of 31 stations, which includes 13 existing Red Line stations. Additionally, the service will utilize 5.3 miles of the Red Line and construct 9.9 miles of exclusive bus lanes.

“We’re so grateful to the FTA for another huge vote of confidence,” said Inez Evans, IndyGo president and CEO. “This award means we can finally put years of planning into action for the second BRT line. The Purple Line will run 15.2 miles, connecting the city of Indianapolis to the city of Lawrence and improving one of our highest ridership, most productive routes in the IndyGo system.”

IndyGo has determined more than 58,000 people will be within walking distance of the route and 134,603 jobs. The transit authority says the Purple Line will reduce transit travel time and increase reliability and accessibility for riders. Service is planned for every 10 minutes during daytime hours and every 20 minutes during evenings and weekends.

"FTA is proud to join our partners in Indiana to connect these vibrant cities with Bus Rapid Transit," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "The Purple Line BRT will get riders where they need to go -- faster, more efficiently and sustainably."

When the project opens for service, which is expected in July 2024, riders will board 15 60-foot electric buses at enhanced stations with real-time signage and ticket vending machines. Traffic signal priority will be installed at 30 intersections along the route and accessing the route will be improved with 355 new or upgraded curb ramps and 9.5 miles of sidewalk infrastructure.

In addition to the CIG grant, IndyGo explains the remaining project costs are being covered by a combination of local funding from the approved transit income tax, the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works and other FTA and Federal Highway Administration sources.

With the CIG grant finalized, IndyGo says it will soon invite contractors to bid on construction packages.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.