Toilets at Julia Carson Transit Center remain closed for 2 years

INDIANAPOLIS — The restrooms at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center have been closed for two years and patience is running out among passengers.

The concourse is also closed, meaning runners have nowhere to shelter from the weather.

“In the winter, you can stand out for 45 minutes,” said IndyGo rider Trumyna Highbaugh. “And they don’t have a hot bus for you to sit on, so you just have to stand there and wait on your bus.”

According to an IndyGo spokesperson, the center was closed in March 2020 as a COVID-19 safety measure.

“I feel like they should be open,” Highbaugh said. “Because it’s (COVID-19) not so bad anymore.”

Wayd McCray rides with IndyGo six days a week and thinks it’s time to reopen the transit center.

“It’s bad if you have kids,” McCray said. “They can’t use the bathroom, and they just have to hold it. It’s terrible.”

Steven Parker has a long commute to work on IndyGo five days a week.

“I wake up about two hours before work, I have to get here and wait for the bus,” Parker said. “Then it takes about 45 minutes to get to work. Then when I get off work, it takes me two hours to get home.”

Parker said if he needed to use the restroom during his commute, it was nearly impossible to find one.

“You can’t walk around here and use the restroom because they don’t have public restrooms for people,” Parker said.

The $26 million transit center opened in 2016 and closed four years later. Now passengers can only enter to buy tickets and must leave right after the transaction. An IndyGo spokesperson said there was no timeline for reopening bathrooms.

“They really shouldn’t be closing the restrooms,” Highbaugh said. “Not with all that we spend on bus passes every day.”

An IndyGo spokesperson provided WRTV with the following statement:

“IndyGo closed the restrooms at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center two years ago in response to COVID, as a safety measure for our employees who work in the building and our partners at the Marion County Public Health Department who operate a free indoor COVID vaccination clinic three days a week. We apologize for any inconvenience this restriction may cause passengers with longer transfer wait times. However, the retail office inside the CTC is open for passengers to purchase tickets and collect printed maps.