Indiana Crossrails: A Transit Choice – Screening


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA — Ball State University students at the Virginia Ball Center will debut their documentary, Indiana Crossrails: A Transit Choice on Saturday, May 9, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The premiere will take place at 11:00am in Ball State University’s Indianapolis Center, 50 South Meridian Street. Coinciding with National Train Day, the showcase will include an open house from 11:00am ­ 12:00pm and will conclude with a screening of the project documentary at 12:00pm. The public is encouraged to attend.

Indiana Crossrails: A Transit Choice is the primary component of the Indiana Crossrails project. Beginning in January 2015, a team of Ball State students began working closely with the Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit (ICAT) and Amtrak to produce an advocacy campaign focusing on the growth and development of mass rail transit in the state of Indiana. The campaign seeks to raise awareness in Hoosiers about rail transit options, including: rapid transit in dense urban areas, commuter/light rail connections between large cities and suburbs, and an expansion of regional/inter­city service. The documentary, supporting research, commercials, and other materials are located on the project website at: http://www.indianacrossrails.org/.

The team also produced a promotional spot for mass rail transit, available at: https://vimeo.com/124356972.

“We wanted to show that advocating for mass transit isn’t championing the use of trains over cars.” said Kiefer Wiseman, executive producer and one of the documentary’s directors. “Our campaign and our documentary show that rail is best when integrated with existing transit systems.”

The documentary was divided into five sections including: the history of mass rail transit, Indiana’s existing systems, economic considerations, the environmental impact, and the future of mass rail transit for the state. Each section had a different director. “We took a different approach with five directors for this film,” said Garret Brubaker, director and lead editor. “There was so much material to cover, we thought it best to divide the research into five manageable sections.” Various teams traveled extensively throughout Indiana, but also around the United States to conduct interviews and acquire digital assets for the project. “We traveled to Utah, Colorado, Chicago, Michigan, and North Carolina to get what we needed. We had to go far because Indiana doesn’t really have much beyond the South Shore Line and Amtrak,” Brubaker said.

Eighteen students participated in the project from a variety of disciplines including Urban Planning, Telecommunications, English, History, and Communication Studies. The project’s faculty advisor Chris Flook felt that “the team understood the positive implications of a system that includes rail. The U.S. is one of the only industrialized nations that doesn’t have a comprehensive transit plan with viable rail options. The documentary poses the question, what if?” Flook added “we were paying close attention to the revised plan that Amtrak, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and Iowa Pacific developed recently. It’s refreshing to see that Hoosier State service will continue.”

The documentary will be published on the project website, along with a series of commercials and supporting research documents: http://www.indianacrossrails.org/.

For any further questions or inquiries, please contact the faculty advisor, Chris Flook, at: caflook@bsu.edu. ###