INDIANAPOLIS - With the launch of the Red Line bus rapid transit line, Indianapolis’ mass transit future is now rolling and new IndyGo Chief Executive Officer Inez Evans sees it as an opportunity to connect an entire region. Evans comes to Indiana from the Silicon Valley, where she led the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.  She says her vision for Indy’s long-awaited mass transit plan includes a focus on connecting a regional workforce.  “There are a lot of jobs out there, and working together with our regional partners, we can bridge those gaps and reach the employment services within our community,” said Evans, who expects the Red Line to generate a surge in ridership.

Evans talked about the Red Line launch and the future of IndyGo on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Evans believes the region’s mass transit plan will generate big economic development activity and ridership gains as well.

The Red line runs for 13 miles, from Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis. IndyGo says the line runs within a quarter mile of more than 50,000 residents and nearly 150,000 jobs, or one in every four jobs in Marion County.

“If you build it, they will ride it,” said Evans, who notes the implementation of a bus rapid transit system in Santa Clara County prompted a 27 percent increase in ridership there. 

She expects Indianapolis to see big ridership gains, too.

“We have about 6,000 customers that traverse in that corridor (Red Line) and projections show that within a year, it should be about 11,000 per day.”