Sunday, September 08, 2019

At one fell swoop...

I'd never used IndyGo, our city's mass transit system, in the ten years I've lived here. I hate memorizing bus schedules and transfers and stuff like that, and so just never bothered.

The Monon Trail? I use that all the time; it's a convenient bicycle highway from home to Broad Ripple Village proper, and you only have to worry about one grade crossing between here and there, since there's a bridge over busy Kessler Avenue. But buses? Just never really bothered.

But then they put in the Red Line, a simulated streetcar service using articulated buses instead of trolley cars, right down the middle of College Avenue near the house.

People griped that they were "taking away" a lane of traffic on College, but really they were just taking it back, what with College being three lanes wide since the streetcars used to run up the center lane. You could even see the old railroad ties where they tore up the road to install the Red Line stations, since they'd just paved over the old tracks.

Anyhow, now a bus whizzes past the station at 54th and College every ten-ish minutes in either direction. In a sort of "The first hit's free, kid!" fashion, the Red Line is free to ride for the month of September, and I made use of that fact to go and do a couple downtown errands without having to worry about parking or the like.

The downtown Roberts Camera store is an easy ten minute walk from the Red Line station at Capitol Avenue & 9th Street, so I dropped off a roll of Ilford XP2* on Thursday and then strolled over to The Eagle on Mass Ave for lunch, then walked the few blocks south down Delaware to the central bus station and caught the northbound Red Line for home.

That was handy, and with none of the annoyances of driving downtown or trying to find parking. (Last time I tried to eat lunch at The Eagle, I circled the block twice until I got a parking space that was reasonably close.)

I repeated the performance on Friday, albeit grabbing lunch at The Tap instead of The Eagle, and it went just as smoothly.

I'm a big Red Line fan now.

Noodling around in Google Maps this morning, I realized that the Red Line station at Capitol Avenue and Washington Street is, like, a ten minute walk from the front door of the State Museum and it's not much further to the gates of the zoo.

Thanks to the Red Line, it is now about a one mile walk from my house to the zoo, with a thirty minute bus ride sammiched in the middle of it.

Guess where I'm going at some point this week?

*Ilford XP2 is a C41 process black & white film that can be processed by any place that processes color film. Actual B&W processing is a lot harder to come by these days if you don't do it at home.