INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — IndyGo’s cost estimate for the Blue Line rapid transit bus line has more than doubled from the original estimate presented in 2019.

When the Blue Line was at 30% design, the cost was $220 million but the latest estimation is $520 million. IndyGo cited the main reasons for the increase as inflation, change in standards for stormwater drainage and a change in which buses IndyGo can purchase.

The Blue Line is designed to travel along Washington Street from Cumberland to the airport. With this seriously increased cost estimate, the agency is working to find ways to cut back on spending.

“IndyGo is committed to build a project, but we have to work together with our partners to bring this project back into budgetary alignment at around $220 and $250 million dollars,” Inez Evans, President and CEO at IndyGo, said.

In Wednesday night’s meeting before the board, IndyGo said it decided to halt segment one of the Blue Line, which includes the airport and instead have buses run instead to I-70 from Washington Street to the airport

Even without segment one, the cost is $520 million; there is no cost estimate that factors in segment one.

“$220 million was the full corridor on Washington Street,” Jennifer Pyrz, Chief Development Officer, said. “$520 is just segments 2-5.”

IndyGo says drainage infrastructure at this point would make up 42% of the total cost. By comparison, the Purple Line’s cost was 18%.

“We were in line to be at the same percentage with the Blue Line until the requirements changed,” Pierz said.

The bus cost estimate for the Blue Line is $128 million for 55 buses. Federal law now restricts IndyGo from purchasing buses made by Chinese manufacturers, like they did for the purple and red lines.

For now, IndyGo is proposing to purchase hybrids.

“We’re hopeful that technology will have changed, new manufacturers will be in place and we will have the option of a zero emission vehicle,” Pyrz said.

In December, IndyGo will present new ideas to the board. Until then, the agency said it will work with its partners and the community to come up with solutions.