Regional Transit Planning
Transit is an important transportation option. The MPO has conducted several transit studies. The results have determined that there is a need for transit in Central Indiana, and further studies recommend where and how those improvement to both the local transit networks, as well as addition of rapid transit routes, should take place. For current transit planning projects, visit the Central Indiana Transit Plan page on this site.
The Indianapolis MPO initiated the Northern Johnson County Transit Plan to understand existing transportation trends and explore potential transportation goals for Northern Johnson County. Johnson County has three townships that are eligible to conduct a referendum for transit per Indiana Code- Pleasant Township, White River Township, and Clark Township. The Northern Johnson County Transit Plan is a chapter of the Central Indiana Transit Plan.
As the IMPO's urbanized area (UZA) grows, some of the transit providers outside of Marion County need to transition from rural federal funding sources (Section 5311) to urban federal funding sources (Section 5307). The following report includes the analysis conducted and final recommendations to guide this transition.
In 2009, the Central Indiana Transit Task Force formed, reviewed data, and released their report which emphasized investment in transit to improve the region. Soon after, the 2011 update of the MPO's Long Range Transit Plan was branded as "Indy Connect." As part of that process, Volume III of the LRTP, the "Transit Vision Plan," was created. In 2016 the Central Indiana Transit Plan (CITP) was created, supplementing and eventually replacing the "Indy Connect" brand. The 2016 CITP is presented in a "Question & Answer" format for easy reference and provides a great deal of information on basic transit planning principles.
The Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan was updated in 2017. This Plan is an inventory of regional transportation providers and their assets, an assessment of transportation needs, and strategies and goals to address unmet needs and gaps.
The Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan was updated in 2021 and was available for public review comment between September 17, 2021 and October 1, 2021. The 2021 update was approved at the Transportation Policy Committee's October meeting.
The Guilford Township Board certified a referendum for the township in 2019 that was contingent upon the creation of a publicly-developed plan. The plan will outline how much revenue would be generated by a referendum within Guilford Township and recommend transportation service to meet the needs of the community. The IMPO contracted with HNTB and its subcontractor, RLS & Associates, to help develop a transit plan for Guilford Township. The planning process included a public survey, stakeholder interviews, a transportation workshop with stakeholders, transit network design exercise, and public meetings. Throughout the process, the team engaged with a transportation advisory board in Guilford Township to provide feedback. The team presented the Plan and final recommendations to the Guilford Township Board on March 4th, 2020. The Guilford Township Board tabled its vote to either certify or rescind the referendum until its next meeting. The Board voted to rescind the referendum on May 6, 2020. A copy of the Guilford Township Transit Plan and Executive Summary are available below.
An Alternatives Analysis to determine the recommended route, stations, and vehicle for rapid transit service along an north-south corridor.
The Green Line is a proposed a rapid transit solution for the northeast corridor of Central Indiana, from Downtown Indianapolis to Noblesville, primarily using the Nickel Plate Railroad corridor.
During the environmental study phase of the Green Line, feasibility issues including route and financial sustainability were identified. With technology and source of funding in question, the Federal Transit Administration encouraged the MPO to put the remainder of the environmental study on hold until more specifics on the future of the Green Line could be determined.
At a joint meeting on July 31, 2017 the City of Fishers, City of Noblesville, and Hamilton County Commissioners voted to convert the Nickel Plate line into a recreational trail from 96th Street in Fishers to Pleasant Street in Noblesville.
With the rail corridor now out of play for transit, and technology and funding questions remaining, the MPO has no timeline for resuming Green Line planning.
The City of Indianapolis has outlined guidelines to encourage thoughtful, context-sensitive design that supports the community’s vision and investment in public transit. With the implementation of IndyGo’s Red, Purple, and Blue Line BRT systems and more frequent network, the city recognizes the need to adjust the way we build along these new transit corridors that both maximizes public investment and encourages sustainable economic development. These TOD Design Guidelines identify and explain transit-oriented development design principles in a straightforward and highly-visual document, providing an educational guidebook that informs and inspires quality design at strategic locations throughout the city.
These guidelines may be used in conjunction with other land use elements from the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis MPO such as the Land Use Pattern Book and Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plans.
The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Plan focuses on understanding the requirements of the land use and economic development categories of the application for federal transit funds and presents development opportunities that could emerge from the Indy Connect rapid transit studies. This plan is intended to be a framework and “toolkit” for municipalities to select elements of land use policy that are applicable to their community as it relates to the overall investment in transit in Central Indiana.
The Plan analyzes regional market dynamics and land use characteristics to assess the potential for transit oriented development along the Red, Blue, Purple, and Green Lines. The Plan also includes recommendations for value capture and strategy implementation for all rapid transit corridors studied thus far.
This project provides a unique opportunity to measure land use and investment changes along Central Indiana's first rapid transit corridor, the Red Line. In order to eventually measure the outcomes, the Transit Impact Study gathered data along the corridor in 2018, before and early during construction, to determine its existing or base condition. Later, after the Red Line has had its first few years of operation, a second round of data gathering will provide the opportunity to compare the two time periods and determine the impacts of the Red Line.
This document describes the economic impacts of the Marion County Transit Plan, which includes the Red Line, the Blue Line, the Purple Line, and the increase in local bus service. It is assumed that the first year of service will be 2022.
The Indianapolis MPO works with IndyGo, the largest public transportation provider in Central Indiana, when they update their five-year Bus Plan, or Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). The bus plans study how the bus system operates today and recommend improvements for the growth and development of Central Indiana’s transit system. Below are bus plans from 2010 and 2015, plus links to additional IndyGo surveys and studies.
These materials were part of educational efforts leading up to a 2016 referendum for transit funding in Marion County. On November 8, 2016 the referendum passed, and on February 27, 2017, the Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council approved a dedicated income tax supporting transit improvements in Marion County.
The Multimodal Corridor and Public Space Design Guidelines establish a common family of elements to assist the Indianapolis Regional Center and Metropolitan Planning Area in becoming a regional network of diverse, walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly communities.