She noted that a transit line to the airport is one of the most sought after desires of mass transit-using Hoosiers.
“What we’re looking for is the funding to make this plan happen,” she said of the Indy Connect project. “It could mean by rail or by rapid transit bus, which is a type of vehicle. The planners and engineers are doing a study now that will determine what is the best technology to use.
“One thing that’s getting more and more use around the country is bus rapid transit because you don’t have to put a rail in the pavement, so it’s more flexible,” she explained. “With the new rapid transit vehicles, they look a lot like rail and act a lot like rail. You could be downtown and get on a bus and when it gets close to a stop light, it has a trigger in it to activate the stop light to be green. It’s faster than a real bus.”
She said that the vehicles have their own lanes in other cities.
Schmits Thomas said the city is doing the most it can under the current budget, but the allotted budget falls short of what’s needed.
“The Indy Go system is run about as efficiently as possible. I don’t know that they could be much more efficient. But the budget is inadequate,” she said, noting that Columbus, Ohio, has a budget that is nearly double that of Indianapolis.
“I think it’s important for people to realize not only are we talking about expanding the system, but more than doubling the service Indy Go would cover,” she said. “Say you want to go downtown, to the event at the Statehouse, for example. If you take a bus downtown, you’d probably have to wait around awhile to catch a bus back, which prevents you from doing it. Whereas this plan would more than double the service.”
There is no cost to attend Transit Day at the Statehouse, however lunch is on a first-come, first-served basis and registration is required for everything but the rally. Anyone interested in attending or learning more about ICAT, may visit the website at indianacat.org/transit-day/.