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IndyGo working to address charging issue for Red Line buses

IndyGo Red Line.JPG
Posted at 12:00 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 12:24:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Earlier this year, RTV6 exposed that the brand new electric buses for IndyGo's new Red Line were falling short of expectations.

In March, Call 6 Investigates uncovered internal reports showing the new electric buses from Build Your Dreams weren't getting anywhere close to the 275-mile range that is required for the route.

According to reports obtained by Call 6, the buses only averaged just 208 miles — 67 less that what's required — and that put the Red Line's promise of a bus every 10 minutes in jeopardy.

READ MORE | RTV6's complete coverage of IndyGo's Red Line

In May, IndyGo revealed a plan to Call 6 that will fix the problem. BYD will pay to install wireless charging stations that the buses will drive over and allow them to charge for a few minutes while drivers are on break.

Those charging stations are not yet in place. In the meantime, buses will have to go to the transit center to charge up.

"BYD is an extremely important partner when dealing with this Red Line and with all the lines we are going to put in place," Inez Evans, president and CEO of IndyGo, said. "Have we seen some challenges with it maintaining its charges? Yes. But, because BYD is a partner they are putting in the additional infrastructure along the way so we can do additional changes if we need it."

IndyGo also said the in-route charging stations will be installed hopefully by the end of the year. IndyGo officials said riders shouldn't notice any issue and the agency said they've built the schedule to make sure buses are on time despite the charging issue.

RTV6 reached out to BYD to see if there is a permanent fix in the works for the charging issue and the company provided issued a statement:

BYD continues to work with our customer to achieve the range we promised. The inductive charging BYD is paying for will meet service requirements. As our customer has said, this charging strategy will maintain the 10-minute service promised on the Red Line at no additional cost to taxpayers.

BYD also told RTV6 they don't know of any other issues with their buses and they should be good to go. The company has a team of 12 people on hand in Indianapolis now through the first week of the Red Line's operation to make sure everything runs smoothly.