Keeping Indy Rolling

Keeping Indy Rolling

New IndyGo Downtown Transit Center will be a “Signature Structure” for Indianapolis

IndyGo’s ridership hit a 23-year peak last year, soaring to 10.29 million passenger trips. Seven individual months achieved record high numbers for the company, and those figures are only projected to grow with the new Downtown Transit facility.

“We expect the new facility to increase ridership once it opens,” said Bryan Luellen, Director of Marketing and Customer Information for IndyGo. “One big challenge that bus transit systems face when attracting riders is somewhat of a lack of visible infrastructure, unlike trains which have platforms and clearly distinct rail lines. Having a brick-and-mortar facility will be important for us, and the location will be ideal.”

The site for the 14,000-square-foot building was chosen due to its size and proximity to the “downtown loop,” which most IndyGo routes serve. Publically-owned land was donated by the City of Indianapolis, allowing tax payer dollars to be stretched to the fullest. Amenities across the two-acre site will offer a public indoor waiting area with Wi-Fi access, available retail space, real-time bus arrival information, 19 canopied bus bays, and facilities for bus operators and IndyGo customer service representatives.

Lee Carmichael, President of Weddle Bros. Construction Companies, general contractor forthe project, said, “Weddle Bros. Building Group is very excited to be a part of the new IndyGo Transit Center project. As a Builder and General Contractor, the opportunity to be a part of a project that will benefit the many patrons of IndyGo and contribute to the downtown Indianapolis landscape is easy to get excited about.”

“This state of the art facility will serve as the downtown hub for IndyGo and provide commuters with a comfortable, inviting and productive space to make their transit connections,” Carmichael continued. “The materials used in the design and construction of the building, the canopies and numerous other unique features of this facility certainly makes this a one of a kind project. It allows Weddle the opportunity to utilize both our construction process management expertise and our master builder’s expertise. Weddle looks forward to providing IndyGo and the City of Indianapolis with this exceptional facility.”

IndyGo Outside

The transit center is applying for a LEED Silver Certification. Environmentally friendly features of the project include solar power in the canopies, storm water management, curbside rain gardens, and energy efficient lighting and HVAC.

IndyGo has also made significant investments in bus stop amenities and infrastructure throughout the city last year, installing more than 4,000 square feet of sidewalks and concrete pads for benches and shelters in collaboration with the Department of Public Works.

Funding for the Downtown Transit Center project came from several different sources. IndyGo received $13.5 million in federal funds through a combination of grants which included special appropriations attained with the help of the late U.S. Representative Julia Carson, and formula funding from the Federal Transit Administration based on IndyGo’s service area. An additional $6 million in local matching funds came from IndyGo’s capital budget.

Construction began on the Downtown Transit Center in autumn of 2014, and work is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Indianapolis city officials have mentioned that the center may serve as a “signature structure” that could spur continued development in the surrounding area, which is already in the midst of revitalization.

To the northeast of the Downtown Transit Center, on the former site of the Market Square Arena, Columbus, IN-based engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. has announced plans to establish a $30 million division headquarters for over 400 of its employees. Immediately north of that, Flaherty & Collins Properties is expected to begin construction on an $81 million, 28-story residential high-rise this year.

Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard said, “Simply put, Indy needs to raise its game. We need more signature structures that define our skyline. IndyGo’s new Downtown Transit Center definitely fits that mold.”

Additionally, demand for downtown living is at an all-time high throughout the city, according to Bob Schultz, Vice President of Marketing with Downtown Indy. He said that many younger individuals are becoming less reliant on their own vehicles, and public transportation is becoming a critical draw for attracting people to the downtown area.

With the new infrastructure of the IndyGo Downtown Transit Center serving as a logistical anchor for the revitalization area of Indianapolis, the city is certainly in a good position to attract new residents and supply their transportation needs. Additionally, continued investment from numerous companies has provided hundreds of new jobs over the last year, leading one to conclude that Indianapolis is certainly “going places.”

IndyGo Outside