In an effort to do what transit does best – connect people and jobs – the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) has worked with IndyGo and multiple public- and private-sector partners to launch two new demonstration bus routes.
The North Plainfield Connector runs from the far reaches of IndyGo’s Marion County service area on the west side of Indianapolis to AllPoints Midwest on the north side of Plainfield. The Whitestown Connector runs from IndyGo’s most northwest stop to AllPoints at Anson in Whitestown.
In addition to securing two three-year federal demonstration grants in the total amount of $1 million, CIRTA brought together Amazon, Browning, Duke Realty, the Town of Plainfield, the Town of Whitestown and the City of Indianapolis to contribute to the service.
“These Connectors are three-year temporary demonstration projects,” said Lori Kaplan, interim executive director of CIRTA. “They’re not the long-term answer, but they’re a start while we continue to work on long-range solutions for improved mass transit in the region.”
As this service progresses through the three years of the grant, CIRTA will work with local entities to measure the performance of the service and, if deemed worthwhile, develop strategies to ensure its continuation beyond the three-year grant period.
Regional leaders are optimistic about the service, citing access to workers as a key driver for continued economic development.
Plainfield Town Council President Robin Brandgard said, “It’s simple. Companies looking to locate here want access to workers, and a service that connects workers with these companies is needed in order to be an attractive place to locate and retain investment.”
Boone County Commission President Marc Applegate added, “We have jobs that need to be filled, and people who need jobs. The Whitestown Connector is the bridge between people and jobs.”
Whitestown and Amazon have provided in-kind and financial support to help fund service between Marion and Boone counties.The Whitestown Connector runs Monday through Saturday and picks up and drops off riders at IndyGo’s Route 37/86 stop at Traders Point. It connects to such Whitestown employers as Amazon, Express Scripts, GNC, Kenco and Weaver Popcorn. More than 2,000 full-time employees work at Amazon’s Whitestown location alone.
“We’re excited about how this important transportation link will offer convenient shuttle services for current employees as well as the hundreds of new employees we’re hiring now for great, full-time jobs at our Whitestown fulfillment center,” said David Alperson, regional director of fulfillment. “Amazon is proud to support this service that will benefit our employees, the Whitestown community and the Indianapolis region.”
For more details, visit www.whitestownconnector.com.
North Plainfield Connector
The North Plainfield Connector runs Monday through Friday. Once a day, the North Plainfield Connector shuttle picks up riders at 5:15 a.m. at Capitol and Ohio in downtown Indianapolis, and heads directly to AllPoints Midwest on the north side of Plainfield to deliver workers to Adesa, Ingram Micro, Prime Distribution, Regal, Tempur-Sealy and the Walmart eCommerce Fulfillment Center. The rest of the day, the shuttle picks up and drops off riders at the IndyGo Route 8 stop on Bridgeport Road. Approximately 1,500 people currently work at AllPoints Midwest, with new construction and additional jobs on the way. For more details, visit www.northplainfieldconnector.com.
CIRTA has been operating, for the past three years, the Plainfield Connector which makes a 9½ -mile loop through industrial parks and Metropolis Lifestyle Center on the south side of Plainfield. It picks up and drops off riders at IndyGo’s Route 8 stop on Bridgeport Road. Employers along the route include Amazon, Ingram-Micro, DJO, OHL and Ryder, among many others. Ridership continues to grow steadily, with an average of 85 daily riders and up to 130 people during peak holiday season. For more details, visit www.plainfieldconnector.com.
A previous grant funded this three-year demonstration project, which began in 2013. Funding will expire at the end of 2015, but the Town of Plainfield and the CIRTA board of directors have committed to continue it through at least the end of 2016, while efforts are being made at the local level for continuation of the service beyond 2016
The fare to ride the Connectors is $1 each way. They are being operated privately by Go Express. For information, visit www.cirta.us.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jen Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-441-2487