The Purple Line Rapid Transit line is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service and is one component of the larger Marion County Transit Plan, which will improve IndyGo system-wide by 70% by 2022.
The 14.6 mile Purple Line will connect two separate municipalities within Marion County – the City of Indianapolis and the City of Lawrence.
What is BRT?
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a fixed route mass transit system designed to emulate the service features of light rail in a more cost-effective way. BRT provides regular service that is fast, frequent, reliable and comfortable.
The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy defines essential characteristics for BRT:
Busway alignment: The Purple Line will primarily operate in bus only lanes reduce congestion for cars and to maintain frequent, on-time service. This dedicated travel lane only accessible to BRT vehicles, ensures that buses are able to move quickly and are not impacted by congestion or traffic incidents.
Off-board fare collection: Riders will purchase tickets before boarding and present proof of payment upon request, allowing passengers to board at any door and to significantly speed boarding times.
Level boarding: BRT buses “dock” at the same height as the stations. This operational design allows for smooth movement between the bus and boarding platform, which is especially helpful for passengers in wheelchairs, with strollers, using canes, or traveling with bicycles.
Transit signal prioritization: Employing tools to reduce the time that a bus idles at an intersection helps to maintain the bus schedule to provide reliable transit service. These tools include transit signal prioritization (TSP) and roadway alignment designs to minimize vehicular turns across the bus lane when a bus is likely to be present.
Left Turns and U-Turns for non-Transit Vehicles: To maintain on-time transit service, safety for pedestrians and drivers, and traffic flow, many segments of IndyGo’s upcoming Red, Purple and Blue BRT Lines will operate in exclusive or semi-exclusive center-running lanes. This means that the lanes are only for use by the BRT and emergency vehicles, or may only be used by motor vehicle traffic under certain conditions.
When BRT is traveling in Bus Only Lanes, drivers will only be permitted to turn at signalized intersections for their safety. All signalized intersections will include a protected U-Turn phase and construction includes the addition of new signals to improve safety and flow. See video below: