IndyGo in Indianapolis launched the new Red Line this week, adding new transit capability that just happens to utilize a fleet of fully electric buses from none other than BYD. The Red Line was given the green light to start service on Monday with an initial 13 American-made BYD K11 articulated buses. These 60-footers can carry up to 120 passengers at a time for some serious high volume rapid transit.
“We are very proud to be part of this new, important service for Indianapolis and Marion County, said Bobby Hill, Vice President of BYD North America, Coach and Bus. “We have worked – and will continue to work – closely with IndyGo to ensure their success. IndyGo is a forward-thinking transit agency and we applaud their transformation to an all-electric transit fleet.”
The first batch of 13 BYD buses will be joined by an additional 18 buses by the end of this year, bringing the total number of BYD buses on IndyGo to 31. It is an impressive start to the electrification of transit in the heart of the American Midwest. The adoption of the fully electric BYD buses includes a new in-ground charging system provided by BYD that will extend the range of the BYD buses even further with just a simple, easy to use charge from underneath.
In addition to electrifying transit, the new Red Line adds capability to the existing rapid transit system serving the greater Indianapolis area. Rapid bus transit lets citizens ditch cars in favor of traffic-friendly buses that move more people in a more compact foot print and now, with zero tailpipe emissions.
They also signal the start of a much larger plan to replace all of IndyGo’s diesel bus fleet with fully electric offerings by 2032. Why the long timeframe for the replacement? The standard life expectancy for transit buses is 12 years, so the move signals the purchase of fully electric buses to replace every current diesel bus that reaches the end of its life. It’s the logical way to approach the phase-in of electric, and though it might feel like a snail’s pace, it represents a full stop to the purchase of new diesel buses in favor of fully electric transit buses.
Each new fully electric bus that replaces a diesel bus eliminates approximately 10 tons of nitrogen oxides, 350 pounds of diesel particulate matter, and approximately 1,690 tons of CO2 over the 12-year lifecycle of the vehicle, according to the US Department of Transportation.
Across town along the new Red Line route, businesses are kicking off a number of promotions to celebrate the new transit line including events like the IndyGo Red Line Opening Week Food Truck Friday
— Droopy's BBQ (@DroopysBBQ) September 6, 2019
Red Line Operator IndyGo also took to Twitter to promote the use of the new line to attend the upcoming French Market Festival, scheduled for Saturday, September 7th at noon in Indianapolis.
This Saturday hop on the Red Line to attend the French Market Festival! Enjoy LIVE entertainment, artisan booths, children’s activities, & food. From 12-10 PM & the Red Line stop on College & 42nd street is easily accessible walking distance. https://t.co/MRF5n5Jsv8
— IndyGo (@IndyGoBus) September 5, 2019
"No one will use the Red Line. Why remove parking spaces?" – Indy people stuck in their ways
— Mord the Turnkey (@MordtheTurnkey) September 1, 2019
The Red Line is a new beginning for Indianapolis’s public transport system. It’s only one step in a larger, comprehensive plan, but it’s a critical one. There’s much left to do over the next several years, but let’s enjoy the moment.
Happy Red Line Opening Day, Indy. pic.twitter.com/DWkOYWAej4
— Austin 🚲🚍🚊🌆🏳️🌈 (@Indy_Austin) September 1, 2019
This morning, community leaders came together to celebrate the future of mass transit in Indianapolis and the launch of the Red Line, the first line in the city’s new rapid transit system. pic.twitter.com/mj9G4rJD1s
— Mayor Joe Hogsett (@IndyMayorJoe) September 3, 2019
Just took a drive through Midtown on College (BR Ave down to 40th) and every Red Line stop had people on the platform ready to use it.
I know it’s been polarizing, but I’m really hopeful this is going to be a good thing for Indy.
— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) September 1, 2019