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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $81 Million Grant Award for Purple Line Bus Rapid Transit Project in Indianapolis

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a construction grant award of $81 million to the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) for the Purple Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project in Central Indiana. The 15.2-mile BRT line will provide frequent, reliable, public transportation in one of the most densely populated, low-income, and zero-car households in Central Indiana, and will help residents get to work, schools, healthcare facilities, recreational venues, and more between downtown Indianapolis and the City of Lawrence. 

"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to advancing equity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through robust investment in our nation’s public transportation systems," said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. "This BRT project will expand transit options in and around Indianapolis and improve access and mobility in the areas where people need it most."

The Purple Line project will operate along a corridor between downtown Indianapolis northeast and downtown Lawrence and replace and improve much of the existing Route 39 local bus service, one of the highest ridership routes in the IndyGo system. The total project cost is $162 million, with $81 million in funding provided through FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

"FTA is proud to join our partners in Indiana to connect these vibrant cities with Bus Rapid Transit," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "The Purple Line BRT will get riders where they need to go -- faster, more efficiently, and sustainably."

The project includes 9.9 miles of new, exclusive bus lanes, 18 new stations and the purchase of 15 60-foot electric buses and installation of transit signal priority at 30 signalized intersections along the route. The service plan includes operation along a 5.3-mile portion of the existing Red Line BRT alignment, with shared use of 13 existing stations. 

IndyGo estimates that construction of the project will create approximately 1,850 jobs. Revenue service is scheduled to begin in July 2024. 

FTA's CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.