INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The wait is over. Sunday is the first day buses will operate on the new IndyGo Red Line, but a few practice runs in the last week have resulted in a couple of fender benders.
There is a lot to look forward to — more routes, more hours, and more reliable transportation. But the message IndyGo is sending to bus drivers is to watch out and be more aware.
“Obviously, with these new traffic configurations it’s really critical that motorists pay attention and take note. The incidents have been concentrated on Capitol Avenue,” said IndyGo Vice President of Public Affairs Bryan Luellen.
Luellen says they’ve had three accidents during practice runs. On Friday, back-to-back accidents happened on Capitol Avenue. There were no serious injuries, but the buses were damaged.
“Most of the time, these have been cars that have been leaving car garages or parking lots or even crossing through an intersection approaching Capital from the east and going through, not recognizing that there is now a northbound bus lane,” said Luellen.
It’s something drivers need to look out for, especially if they are not familiar with the recent additions.
“There are a whole lot of new characteristics that are all coming together to make this Red Line a reality — new traffic signals, news kinds of signals, new dedicated bus-only lanes,” said Luellen.
This is also the first time IndyGo routes will operate seven days a week.
“This is a massive undertaking, and it’s an operation with 20 hours of service on weekdays and a 10-minute frequency,” said Luellen.
Although they are excited about the new operation, they’re hoping drivers will be on the lookout for everyone’s safety.
“This is going to be a work-in-progress as we tweak and fine-tune and continue to hone the operation. This is just like every other service that we operate, and it takes time and attention every day to make these buses get out there on the street and provide reliable service for the customer,” said Luellen.
IndyGo says all routes in the system are free until September 14, and Red Line will be free until the end of the month.