IN: Momentum for Transit Continues with Passage of IndyGo Budget

On Oct. 14, the Indianapolis City County Council approved the 2014 IndyGo budget, allowing the transit agency to maintain its current service levels and fare structure in 2014.

“We are pleased to see the city administration and council continue to support IndyGo,” said Danny Crenshaw, chairman of the IndyGo board of directors. “IndyGo staff are to be commended for demonstrating that transit service in Indianapolis is a solid investment.”

In 2012 at this time, the council approved an increase of $6 million for the 2013 budget , which allowed IndyGo to make noticeable upgrades to local bus service. The improvements, guided by the Indy Connect bus plan, were phased in over the first half of the year and included new frequent service on core lines, the addition of a route along the 86th /82nd St. corridor, added Sunday service on Route 34, and route realignments for better productivity and access to destinations. IndyGo has seen impressive ridership figures as a result of these improvements including double-digit percentage increases on each of IndyGo’s three lines with frequent service. System-wide, August 2013 ridership soared to nearly one million trips, and by year’s end, ridership is expected to exceed 2012 totals despite huge spikes last year during the Super Bowl.

“The $6 million investment in service for 2013 has resulted in extraordinary ridership gains, evidence that there is a demand for more transportation options in our community,” said Michael Terry, president and CEO for IndyGo. “Stability in our service levels for 2014 is vital to maintaining expanded ridership.”

In addition to successful implementation and performance of enhanced service this year, IndyGo has garnered two federal grants which will allow the agency to retire its oldest buses sooner than would have otherwise been possible. IndyGo’s most recent and notable grant was a $10 million TIGER award, which will allow the agency to repower approximately 20 existing diesel buses with a completely electric propulsion system. Additionally, $10 million from the federal State of Good Repair grant program will replace nearly 30 older buses with brand new clean diesel ones.

“Thanks to various competitive federal funding opportunities, IndyGo is making progress on important projects like bus replacement, IT infrastructure and the introduction of real time information for passengers,” said Samantha Cross, vice president of business development for the agency. “Sustained local funding for 2014, continued ridership gains and strong competitive grant applications are a formula for IndyGo success.”