The RSF Guide to Driving for Uber/Lyft in Indianapolis


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Introduction

Driving in cities varies according to each cities geography, social layout, and hot spots. The traffic issues have a major impact on how a city manages its transportation issues, and that is why public transport systems don't cover the needs of the many. This is why rideshare has become so popular since it provides a personalized solution to a time old problem; how do I get from where I am to where I want to be? So here at RSF, I decided to start preparing guides for my readers, comprehensive insights into anything and everything rideshare related.

RSF City Guides for Drivers

This series will look at specific cities and focus on issues that are related to each and every city. Take into account that all information provided will change over time. Cities tend to change their transportation routes, and business, as well as social locations, move around.

Indianapolis

Indianapolis has a population of around 885,000, and the metropolitan area contains over 2 million residents. One interesting fact about Indianapolis is that it is a single-days drive to 70 percent of the nation's population, and that's why it nicknamed the "Crossroads of America."

Indianapolis is spread over a large area, so account or mot trips taking around 30+minutes in decent traffic conditions. During rush hour and convention or Indy 500 days, traffic will take over an hour. Having stated this, traffic congestion in Indy is a rarity, drivers find the city's grid layout straightforward, and downtown has over 73,000 parking spots.

Monday-Friday traffic is worst between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then again between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Traffic rush hours are standard as in most large cities:

  • Weekdays from 7am to 9am and 4:30pm to 7pm
  • Weekends from 5pm to 3am

The Best locations to drive are:

Downtown

  • Convention Center
  • IUPUI
  • Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Bankers Life

Broad Ripple

  • Broad Ripple Avenue
  • Sobro
  • Butler Campus

Keystone

  • Fashion Mall
  • Castleton
  • Northeast Suburbs

North Suburbs

  • Carmel
  • Westfield
  • Fishers
  • Noblesville

Hotspots

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Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville

  • Picking up passengers; There is a staging area named the "red lot" designated for rideshare vehicles.

  • The Red Lot, is a gravel parking lot, is located next to the mobile trailer and a white house. Get there before the end of the show, since the area is closed to incoming traffic when the shows are over. Enter through Gate 2 off of Boden Road.

  • To drop off a passenger, inform the parking attendants, they will direct you where to go.

  • Uber notifies riders to go to the red lot.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500)

Streets closed

  • 16th Street is usually closed from Olin Avenue on the east to the 16th Street roundabout on the west from 11 a.m. until the end of the race. Also, 16th Street is not accessible from Polco Street, since it's blocked at 10th Street.
  • Georgetown Road south of 25th Street is closed from 7 a.m. Sunday.
  • Access to parking lots along Georgetown Road after 7 a.m:
    • From the north, take 25th Street to Auburn Street.
    • From the south, take Crawfordsville Road to Winton Avenue.

Uber users

  • Uber users can find their staging lot at Main Street and Gilman Street.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

  • The Uber staging zone is located on the North side of the arena in the alley between E Maryland Street and Bankers Life Court.
  • Access the Uber Zone from either E Maryland Street or Bankers Life Court during game days.

Lucas Oil Stadium, Downtown

  • Use the lot at the corner of Capitol Ave & McCarty St to drop off riders headed to Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Pick up riders anywhere north of South St.

Indianapolis International (IND) Airport

  • Always keep the Uber app open at the airport.
  • The waiting area uses a FIFO system within a geofenced area. You need to access the area and wait in turn. I personally don't wait at the airport, unless its Indy 500 season.
  • The waiting area is located in the Limo Lot along S Service Rd, across from the Cell Phone Lot.
  • If there are no drivers in the waiting zone, the request will go to the drivers closest to the airport.
  • If asked by airport staff for your Waybill, you can access this within your Uber Partner App
  • Driver cancellations: if you use this option too frequently you will be blocked from using the app at IND.

IND Queuing rules:

  • You will lose your place in the queue if:
    • You go offline with your Uber driver app
    • You drive outside the FIFO zone
    • You do not accept multiple incoming trip requests in a row
    • You cancel multiple rides (if the rider cancels, you will remain at the top of the queue)

Navigational Aids

Unlike some other major cities, Indianapolis is not that congested. In fact, while it is the 12th most populous city in the US, it is ranked down the 50th place for congestion.

These are some rules to follow in Indianapolis.

Keep away from the area of E. 96th Street and Allisonville Road on the city's northeast side. This is where Indianapolis and Fishers come together, and the I-465 and I-69 intersect.

The quickest route from I-74 from the west, take the I-465 to the I-65. The scenic route is taking the I-465 south to Sam Jones Expressway. Take the exit and go left to the I-70 east (Indy), continue east to the I-65 south. This will show you downtown Indy and via the impressive Lucas Oil Stadium. The best times for this route are between 8 am until 4:30 pm and any time after 5:30 pm.

The I-74 is not usually congested, unlike the I-65 which can get backlogged when there are accidents.

Indy is intersected by several highways, so you have many options to choose from. The 465 is a loop that circles the city, which is very useful when accidents block one route, you can just get on another.

Never take the I-65 through town.

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Worst Places for Traffic Accidents

Indy's heaviest traffic is on the north side, the worst intersections for accidents are located on the south side. Take special care when driving through these intersections:

  • Stop 11 Road and Madison Avenue, on the city's south side
  • Emerson Avenue and I-465, on the city's southeast side
  • Emerson Avenue and Southport Avenue, on the city's southeast side

In addition to a network of Interstate highways, the metro loop 465 and several federal highways, the Indianapolis area is gridded by a large number of state routes. Here is the full list of main routes in Indy.

Interstates

  • 65, 69, 70, 74, 465 (865)

Metro Loop

  • 465

U.S. Highways

  • 31, 36, 40, 52, 136, 421

State Routes

  • 9, 13, 28, 32, 37, 38, 39, 44, 47, 67, 135, 144, 234, 238, 431

Interstates with Roundabouts

Keystone Parkway running through Carmel (and US 31 north of 116th Street) is set-up like an interstate with giant figure-eight roundabouts at the top. Remember your exits, follow the roundabout rules, and if you miss your exit, don't worry, the roundabouts enable you to jump back onto Keystone or 31 and head back to your original exit very quickly.

Winter driving Tips for Indi

  • Indy is a snowy city during the winter, and there are a number of rules to follow to be sure you are safe:
  • Be prepared, check the weather report on a daily basis during the winter months.
  • Check your tires for winter driving and make sure you prepared your car or winter.
  • Remember that riving in the snow, and the rain will make your driving time longer, take that into account.
  • Remember that the first rain and snow are the most treacherous.
  • Black Ice is deadly, make sure you know how to drive on black ice, the rules are simple: drive slowly! Even slower than that!
  • Low visibility is a problem for everyone, but make sure that you see all the idiots trying to commit suicide with your car.
  • SUV's and 4-wheel drive do not give you any advantage on the ice.
  • Watch out for snow ploughs and don't overtake them on the right.
  • Drive further distance from snow ploughs
  • Snow plow driver vision is limited; he does not see you, so don't rely on him.
  • In general, the faster you drive, the longer the braking speed distance, you will also skid "hydroplane."
  • Do not brake when hydroplaning, control your steering wheel and don't press the gas pedal.