INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Major road construction of the IndyGo Red Line is finally over, and starting August 1, drivers can expect to see Red Line buses on the roads.
The Red Line doesn’t officially launch until September 1, but on Thursday, IndyGo will conduct practice runs so bus drivers and commuters can “get the hang of things.”
“We have the whole month to get the drivers out there. Practicing the docking, practicing the turns,” said IndyGo Director of Public Relations Lauren Day.
To help prepare commuters, IndyGo released videos showing the new lane configurations and pavement markings earlier this month.
Down Capitol Street, where the Red Line’s signature Red Pavement occupies a large, outer portion of the street, drivers appeared to have a fairly easy time navigating the new road configurations. However, down College Avenue, where the Red Line designated lane runs down the middle of the road, there were a few instances where commuters seemed confused as to where to go. Some drivers even found themselves in the marked bus only lane, which is also separated from traffic by barricades.
"It’s definitely messing up the flow of traffic,” one man said.
Day says IndyGo realizes there will be growing pains and mistakes made, especially in the early days following the Red Line’s launch. However, she adds that the learning curve is an expected part of the process, and IndyGo will station volunteers along the route to help ease that process and help drivers with any questions.
“There is a learning curve, we absolutely understand that. This is a great transition time. We’ve got the road ready, we’re going to have training beginning tomorrow, it’s a good time to see the buses in action,” she said.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is also expecting a learning curve for drivers. The department released the following statement to explain their approach to ensure drivers adhere to the rules of the road when the Red Line launches:
IMPD will be focusing on education over enforcement for the first 30 days of Red Line operation. Our Operations Division has been coordinating with the contracted private security company who will schedule the off-duty law enforcement officers hired for IndyGo. IMPD beat officers will provide patrols during their discretionary time, and we will remain in frequent communication directly with IndyGo during the roll out of the Red Line. IMPD Traffic Units will be deployed to specific areas along the Red Line corridor as traffic issues are identified.