IndyGo ridership has hit one of the highest levels in decades. The combination of unseasonably warm weather throughout the first of the year, rising gas prices towards $4.00 per gallon, and efficiency-focused service delivery create a formula for successful ridership on public transportation.
The combined total ridership from the beginning of the year (January and February 2012) totals 1,654,980. This is a 26.8 percent increase when compared to the same period last year. This ridership is higher than any January/February combination back to 1995.
With ridership at an all time high for the past 20 years, one would assume that IndyGo is providing additional service — when in fact the opposite is true. Frequencies on IndyGo’s 30 fixed routes run from every 15 to 20 minutes to more than an hour on some routes. Compared to 44 routes during the peak year of 1997, IndyGo now operates 30 fixed routes — a 30 percent reduction — with an increased ridership of 36.93 percent over 1997 ridership. Although available service is less than it has been in years, more people are riding.
“Even though we continue to face challenging budgets each year, our goal has not only been to maintain our current service levels, but to do so in the most efficient and customer-focused manner possible,” says Mike Terry, president and CEO of IndyGo. “Because of our innovative implementation and tenacity, more residents are trying transit, trusting their daily commute with us.”
In recent years, IndyGo’s fleet has integrated advanced technologies to incorporate global positioning systems (GPS). This tool provides improved statistical operating data as well as real-time information for IndyGo’s customer service call center. The fleet is also equipped with auto bus announcements and stop specific data, essential for passenger communication and future transit planning. Much of this technology, in addition to new buses and bus amenities, has been leveraged by IndyGo through from competitive federal grants.
Within the last year, usage on IndyGo.net has increased by 19.73 percent with a total of 518,822 visits, and with the integration of Google Maps, trip planning is even easier. Social Media tools are a low-cost way for IndyGo to communicate with passengers. IndyGo continues to grow its followers on social media sources by tweeting bus delays in real-time data and actively participating on Facebook.
“We will continue to explore ways to improve our operations, but our next hurdle will be addressing growing demand for increased services,” says Terry.