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Accessible Attractive and Safe Bus Stops

Bus stops arehard to see, difficult to locate, unsafe to access and even unsafe to wait at. The solution, Accessible Attractive + Safe stops

Photo of Jeffrey LeFors
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Written by

The Red Line will be great for the city, but other access points to the city's public transportation need to be elevated as well to ensure it's long term success.

I travel between my home in Carmel and work in downtown Indianapolis.   Part of my drive takes me along the new Red Line on College Ave, a welcomed asset to the city.   However, when traveling north of the Red Line, the bus stops are hard to spot/access or are dangerously close to the road with little room for more than a couple of people to wait.   In some instances I've seen 10-12 people waiting in the driveway of a private citizen because there is no room to stand at the bus stop (86th and College Ave.) or children with backpacks walking along the non existent shoulder.  Children, mobility-challenged, and able-bodied individuals are literally taking a health risk waiting for the bus.

I believe this accessibility issue is not just a problem along College between 75th and 96th St, with the lack of sidewalks and shoulders and close proximity of stops to cross traffic, but across the city.  The solution can be simple.

I propose upgrading the cities bus stop visibility, making them easier to access and wait at while increasing safety, with the goal of increasing use of bus routes with attractive and safe bus stops.   I believe the corridor of 75th-96th to be a key area to focus this project given it's proximity to the northern terminus of the Indy Go Red Line.  

The upgrades would be modest and would fit into the existing infrastructure of the IndyGo system.   Improvements include:

 -  Small concrete platforms/with minimal seating and standing 2-5 people, including a simple apparatus to protect waiting travelers from the elements
-  Attractive lighting for morning/evening/nighttime travelers to entice ridership and increase perception of safety.
- Free wi-fi access for waiting travelers
- ADA compliant stops (where feasible in the initial phase)
- "School safe" stops in areas where children may need to use public transit

The solution is not expensive and doesn't require the transformation of entire street system.   With a few small upgrades we can awaken and entice our citizens to take full advantage of a transit system we should all rely on more.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

This solution will not just help those of a certain economic or social situation. Indy residents across the cultural spectrum will benefit: The young professional with the job downtown and a family in the suburbs. The student whose parents work in the morning or has no personal transportation. The financially burdened who rely on public transit. Those with mobility issues and lack of access to safe transportation. The environmental conscious consumer who wants to cut down their carbon footprint. The trendsetter/taste maker. who would want to pioneer this public transportation initiative. All these people have their own motivations for using public transit, and each are valid in their own right. They all share one basic need, to have an accessible, affordable and attractive (safe) transportation option. My proposed improved bus stops can accomplish that.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

The idea has been discussed among my friends/peers/contemporaries. I've had no hard numbers or testing done but the idea is well received.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

My team is me at the moment. I've had this idea in my head ever since I started my commute down College Ave on the northside to downtown. This initiative is the right vehicle to share my idea. I'm just a new dad trying to put what I believe to be a solid idea out there and want to work with a team to make this a reality. I am in the initial phase so I don't have any visuals or stats to back up my idea, but I believe it is viable and worth your attention.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $100,000


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jasmine Comer

Hi Jeffrey LeFors , I'm Jasmine one of the online facilitators for the challenge this year. I agree, many of the bus stops could be safer throughout Indy, so thanks for presenting the idea during the proposal phase. Would the entirety of the funding request go toward implementing the mentioned enhancements? And how would it be determined which stops outside of College Ave between 75th and 96th street would receive the upgraded stops?

Photo of Jeffrey LeFors

Good morning Jasmine. Thank you for following up with me.

These upgrades, aimed at visibility, accessibility and safety, are to be simple to keep the cost-per-stop low. My goal is to start with a handful of stops that meet the criteria in my proposal and scale up from there. With full funding, we could initially improve 4-5 times as many stops throughout the city.

Involving Indy's community-focused groups and nonprofits in the project would bolster its visibility. A community's "buy-in" is so important to public initiatives like this. Public support is as important as financial support.

The upgraded stops would not be limited to one section of town (as mentioned in my proposal).

Options include select stops with routes that connect to the Red Line or future rapid transit lines, OR a series of stops around Indianapolis where bus stops share similar traits/demographics/needs/challenges including:

- Stops in areas where students (of all ages) need to get to school
- Stops where the elderly/injured/disabled need transportation to
medical and/or retail facilities
- Stops where visibility/safety/accessibility are of key concern
(no shoulder, located in the grass or adjacent to private driveways, high
traffic concerns)
- Using current IndyGo statistics to identify key stops with high usage
that would benefit from upgrades
- Using current IndyGo statistics to identify overlooked/underutilized
stops that would see higher usage after improvements are made

Once the initial stops are upgraded, a second phase would include public/stakeholder feedback to find additional stops in need. Feedback and insights from voices in local neighborhoods and along bus routes would provide invaluable data, and direction, on where to implement the next round of improved stops. Continued involvement of Indy's community-focused groups and nonprofits would be beneficial throughout this process.

Thank you again for following up with me. Pleas let me know if there is more you need from me during this proposal phase. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your consideration.