I attended the Earth Day Indiana Festival in downtown Indy on Saturday. I learned about food and recycling and peak oil and light rail and social justice and many other things. The glaring omission to the Earth Day celebration was the absence of IndyGo. Unless we decrease our use of the car to get everywhere, our other efforts to conserve fossil fuels and to save the planet are doomed.
I moved to Indianapolis determined not to use a car and to get around by public transportation. While this presents some challenges in Indianapolis, it is by no means as bad as portrayed by the folks who never use public transportation. Witness your own survey: Would you use public transportation if it were improved?
What’s good about IndyGo?
Comprehensive: Notice as you drive around Indy that there are IndyGo stops everywhere. They cover the city.
Run on schedule: While many routes do not run as frequently as one might wish, they do run on schedule. By consulting the schedule (always up-to-date at www.Indygo.net) you can catch a bus after a very short wait.
Nice people: Bus drivers are terrific, always helpful even when doing a job that calls for navigating horrendous traffic. Bus riders are friendly. Riding public transportation puts you in contact with human beings.
For all you non-riders out there, here are some of my favorite routes:
• Route 18 goes from downtown to Broad Ripple winding north and east through some very pleasant neighborhoods, continuing through Broad Ripple on College and dropping you at any block you want. With the parking problems in Broad Ripple and downtown, why drive?
• Route 5 takes you across town from the Westside to the Eastside with stops throughout the downtown area. For good measure it continues up Massachusetts Avenue.
• Route 8 takes you right to the airport and drops you in front of the terminal. Runs from early morning until late at night.
• Routes 34 and 38 both take you to the IMA, one via 38th Street, the other via Michigan. While walking paths into the museum are non-existent, the bus service to the museum is excellent.
• And, best of all, the Blue Line which IndyGo has turned into a free service between downtown and the museums. We may not have free service throughout the downtown area like Seattle and Portland, but we have made a start. When you visit the museums or the zoo, take your kids for a ride around town on the Blue Line.