In recent years, Indianapolis has grown into a modern urban environment replete with everything the urban dweller could ever want or need. This includes entertainment (sports, theaters, events), food (restaurants aplenty, farmers markets, grocers), and the like. One key element to making sure that all of these different facets of urban life come together is that of transportation, literally getting to and from these various parts of the city. Luckily, Indy has taken great steps in making sure that’s not an issue for its residents. Taking cues from great cities around the country, and the world, Indy has officially become a mobile city.
Below are a few of the modes of Indianapolis transportation. Some are new, some are old, some are straight up weird and fun, but all will get you from one place to another!
First up are the ever-popular, and ever-growing rideshare systems. This unique type of shared transport has exploded over the past few years in urban environments all around the world. The idea is based on waste not, want not, wherein individuals who own vehicles can make use of the empty seats in their cars by providing rides to paying customers. It works like this: you download an app on your smartphone that allows you to send out a message to potential drivers near your current location… and that’s about it! Your credit card is securely hooked up with your account, allowing you to pay right away, and to avoid cash handling amongst strangers. The driver then picks you up and takes you to your new location, easy enough! The best parts are, it’s relatively cheaper than a cab, and you can make a new friend along the way. It’s a much more personal and interesting way to travel compared to sitting behind a plastic divider in a taxi. Also, as a car owner, one can potentially make a decent part-time living as a driver. Examples of rideshare companies in Indy are Uber and Lyft. With Lyft in particular, the cars are quite easy to spot. Just look for a large pink mustache placed on the front of their cars!
IndyGo is the clever moniker used by the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation for it’s public buses. IndyGo buses are a very useful took for getting around the city. With bus stops spanning the entirety of the inside loop (and a bit outside as well) of Interstate 465, it makes getting from one end of, say the Far West side to the Far North side, very easy. Bus routes can be found at the IndyGo website.
INDIANA PACERS BIKESHARE
Like most cities these days, Indy has developed a great bikeshare program in the downtown area. But unlike most cities, Indy’s bikeshare isn’t branded with the logo and colors of a faceless corporation, but instead proudly displays the name and colors of our beloved NBA team, the Indiana Pacers! This is actually a brand new initiative by the city and, excuse the pun, but it seems to be taking off. With 250 bikes at 25 stations spread throughout downtown, there is never a lack of open seats. If you come across a bike station, just pop in your credit card and enjoy an $8 Day Pass, or you can even purchase an $80 Annual Membership. The Pacers Bikeshare is a proud step forward in Indy’s transportation initiative!
Yet another innovative transportation initiative is known as Blue Indy. Blue Indy is set to be the largest electric car share program in the United States! Currently there is only a preview facility set-up on E. Washington St in downtown. This is a chance to get to know the system that will soon be everywhere throughout the city. The projected numbers for the program are pretty impressive: 500 Bluecars, and 1,000 charging stations in 200 locations. They’re calling it “a new way of life in the heart of Indianapolis”. The cars are 100% electric, which means they produce no CO2 direct emissions, no noise pollution or odor, and require no gas fill-up. It works like this: subscribe to BlueIndy (either online or at an enrollment kiosk) wherein the only requirements are a valid drivers license and a credit card, which will prompt a personal badge to be sent to your address. Once you have the card, go to any BlueIndy charging station to pick up your car, next step, take off! This is a one-way service, meaning you can pick up a car at a charging station, then drive it to another charging station located near your final destination. Once there, plug the car back in to charge it for the next driver, and there you have it! BlueIndy was brought together by an international group who set up similar carshares in Lyon and Bordeaux, France, as well as in Paris, which is the largest, and most successful electric car share service in the world!
Now for the aforementioned fun, wacky, and weird transport services. Firstly, we have HandleBarIndy (with emphasis on the word “Bar”) and thePickled Pedaler. These transportation services are centered on booze, or more particular, beer. A mobile contraption consisting of 16 bar stools and 16 sets of pedals, something you have to truly see to believe (it’s quite hard to describe), takes you around the city from bar to bar. You pedal, you drink, they drive. It’s essentially barhopping only rather than hopping, you’re peddling. Prices vary depending on the day, but the fun, it never varies (it’s a blast!).
Next up, Pedi Cabs. There are various Pedi Cab companies around Indy. In this case, you’re not doing the pedaling yourself, which is a plus. Use this opportunity to sit-back, relax, and take in Indy’s sites straight from the streets.
Lastly, we go back to one of Indy’s great pastimes, drinking beer, but more specifically good, local craft beer. As discussed in previous articles, Indy has an exploding number of craft breweries throughout the city, and the state for that matter. To take advantage of these great drinking establishments in a single day, take a ride on Indy Brew Bus. This brew tour takes you around the city to various breweries in one trip, wherein passengers can get a pint at each brewery, or even buy a growler to take home that you can actually keep cold on the bus! To clarify, a growler is a glass jug that typically holds a half-gallon of fresh, from the tap beer.
So there you have it, Indy’s myriad transportation systems in a nutshell. As you can tell, there’s never a shortage of options to get from one place to another in our fare city. Whether for fun or necessity, take a ride in Indy and see what you find.