May 6, 2013

IndyGo growth continues with new services

With an annual operating budget of approximately $65 million, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp. (IndyGo) provides public bus transit services to residents and visitors throughout Marion County — operating 30 local fixed routes and 155 buses as well as its Open Door ADA paratransit service.

Ridership has slowly grown from just over eight million in 2009 to 10.2 million in 2012, with that growth continuing or holding reasonably steady over the first few months of 2013.

“The demand is there. Last year, we provided more than 10 million rides, if you add in our paratransit service numbers. We are projecting hitting 10 million rides on our fixed-route services alone in 2013,” said Bryan Luellen, manager, marketing at IndyGo. “We are doing a lot of outreach with individual organizations as well as through our mass marketing campaigns — we feel these two strategies are helping augment the conversation about mass transit in the county.”

Super Bowl XLVI, with its special events, pre-game activities, festivities, and scarce or high-priced parking that came with it, contributed to part of IndyGo’s 2012 growth. Over a 10-day span culminating on Super Bowl Sunday, IndyGo delivered 325,212 rides — 39% more rides than a typical week. A more encouraging sign, perhaps, is that ridership in that same span of 2013 only saw a half-percent dip, according to Luellen.[PAGEBREAK]

Mayor Greg Ballard recognized IndyGo at the third annual Indianapolis Sustainability Awards for its aggressive efforts in advancing sustainability throughout the community in 2011.

Mayor Greg Ballard recognized IndyGo at the third annual Indianapolis Sustainability Awards for its aggressive efforts in advancing sustainability throughout the community in 2011.
Also in 2012, Mayor Greg Ballard recognized IndyGo at the third annual Indianapolis Sustainability Awards for its aggressive efforts in advancing sustainability throughout the community in 2011. IndyGo received honors in the awards’ air category for its “Community Collaborations Program,” which supports local initiatives by providing in-kind sponsorships including co-promotion and media exposure through paid advertising.

Through the award-winning collaborations program, IndyGo amplified the message of partner organizations including Indianapolis Black Expo, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness, Broad Ripple Art Fair, Marion County Public Health Department and Summer Servings hunger relief program for intercity youth.

As for 2013, thanks to a $6 million budget infusion approved by the City-County Council, IndyGo’s most-used routes — 8, 10 and 39 — saw frequencies increase to every 20 minutes or better early morning through early evening on weekdays, beginning in February.

“We haven’t seen the service levels on these three lines in 50 years, so it is huge for us,” said Luellen. “We are seeing ridership growth and standing loads, even with the new service levels, which have been doubled in some cases.”

Additional changes for bus service and the introduction of a new crosstown route for the 86th/82nd Street corridor are slated for June 2013, added Luellen.

In addition to service improvements in 2013, IndyGo’s plans for building the downtown transit center will ramp up this year. The new transit center, planned for construction across from the City-County Building, will dovetail with a city-garnered EPA planning grant to transform the public plaza just south of the City-County Building.

RELATED ARTICLE: Check out, "Five Questions:IndyGo President/CEO Michael Terry."

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