Last month, State Fair Boulevard was transformed into the "Indy Connect Experience," a multi-station
exhibit that focused on different modes
Fairgoers learned about transit on
"Indy Connect Day"
of transportation in the Indy Connect plan. Fairgoers had the opportunity to learn firsthand how a multimodal transit system could impact the way they live in Central Indiana.
"Transit affects people throughout Central Indiana - in urban, suburban and rural areas," said Lori Miser, executive director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)."The Indiana State Fair allowed us to reach a broad sector of our population and educate them on the value of transit, which generated excitement and curiosity."
One of the most popular exhibits was the bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicle on loan from the HealthLine in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland added BRT to their transit system in 2004.
A BRT vehicle from Cleveland's
Healthline was on display.
More than $4.3 billion dollars has been invested in the Euclid Avenue Corridor where the BRT line runs - testament to the type of economic development that can be spurred around transit.
Walking through the BRT and IndyGo hybrid buses changed common perceptions and helped attendees visualize what it might be like to have an expanded bus system in Central Indiana.
"When people hear the word, 'bus,' they have an image in mind," said Miser. "But after touring the buses, they walked away impressed. They asked 'When are we going to do this here?' and 'Would this kind of bus be used in Indy?'"
Transportation experts were on hand to answer questions and direct visitors to the appropriate information booths, which included a 3-D rendering of what a transit station stop might look like at 38th Street and Fall Creek Boulevard, bike/pedestrian maps, a model rail car and more.
"People walked away with a better understanding of the plan, which is exactly what we hoped to achieve on Indy Connect Day."