Transit Planning

IndyGo uses a variety of planning tools, policies and monitoring methods to ensure that our transit system is running efficiently. As a recipient of federal, state and local tax dollars, we are required to follow various federal, state and local statutes as well as adhere to public input requirements.

This page highlights some of the most notable factors that influence how service is structured, what processes are in place to monitor performance and how decisions are made.

Service Planning

Service Standards

In 2007, the IndyGo board adopted a service standards policy, which is the foundation for the transit planning decision making process. The standards provide guidance on varying aspects of service design such as route structure, span of service, service frequency, passenger loads, on-time performance, missed trips and route performance evaluation.


Transit measures productivity by ridership which IndyGo tracks using electronic fareboxes to count passenger trips and cross-checks with automatic passenger counters (APCs). APC’s can provide valuable data on a stop-by-stop basis, to further provide insight for usage, patterns and trip generators.

Ridership usage will vary throughout a specific route’s hours of operation. Since most passengers are commuting to work, transit usage is at its highest levels during peak commuting hours. Because ridership can be measured, the appropriate amount of service is planned for peak and non-peak hours. For example, ridership is high in the morning peak, so resources are put towards higher frequency in the morning, then scaled back after the rush. Some routes may warrant consistent frequency levels throughout the day to handle the demand and capacity issues.

Route Performance

Two measures of productivity are used to formulate an overall productivity rating by route: ridership productivity and economic productivity. Ridership productivity is measured in terms of riders per revenue hour of service. Economic productivity is measured in terms of operating subsidy per passenger.

Bus Stops

IndyGo’s system includes more than 4,000 unique bus stops.

Stop spacing is determined by our board adopted Service Standards, which suggests 1/4 of a mile distance between stops. This ideal spacing provides adequate access to riders, while also minimizing stop delays.

Our Bus Stop Guidelines help us determine what investments will be made at each location for amenities such as shelters, benches, bike racks and solar lights. To learn more about the methodology and amenity types, visit the Transit Amenities page.

Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA)

IndyGo conducts a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) of transit service every five years. These in-depth studies help identify strengths as well as opportunities for improvement to service. We’re currently undergoing a COA, branded IndyGo Forward, which is looking at how best to utilize the Downtown Transit Center opening later this year and also how to invest in the future of transit in Indianapolis.


IndyGo Forward (Currently Underway)


Final Report – Part 1

Final Report – Part 2


Final Report



Section 5310 – Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Grant Program

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides limited transportation grant funds for capital (vehicles) through its Section 5310 – Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Grant.

IndyGo is the designated recipient of the Section 5310 funds and is responsible for grant administration and distributions in the Indianapolis Urbanized Area. Eligible recipients of these funds include:

  • Private not-for-profit organizations
  • Authorized units of local government

To be considered, projects must be derived from the Indianapolis area Coordinated Transportation Plan. Projects also require local matching funds of 20% of the total project cost.

For further information on this grant opportunity please contact Paula Haskin, Director of Flexible and Contracted Services at 317.614.9208 or at

IndyGo’s 2015 grant awards for Federal Section 5310 projects total $400,800 for 11 vehicles:

Agency: TANGRAM                                                                         Funding Award: $64,000

Agency: CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions, Inc.            Funding Award: $83,200

Agency: Health & Hospital Corporation                                  Funding Award: $80,000

Agency: Catholic Charities                                                            Funding Award: $40,000

Agency: BOSMA Industries for the Blind                        Funding Award:

Agency: Use What You’ve Got Ministries                              Funding Award: $44,000

Ridership Data

This page shows the number of passenger trips on IndyGo’s fixed routes. Open Door ridership is not reflected in this data.

2015 Ridership
January 755,461
February 692,761
March 797,514
April 823,079
May 807,623
June 815,765
July 826,831
August 866,440
September 855,036
October 878,313
November 768,658
December 777,843
Total 9,665,743


2016 Ridership
January  703,378
February  736,919
March  778,849
April   TBA
May   TBA
June   TBA
July   TBA
August   TBA
September   TBA
October   TBA
November   TBA
December   TBA
Total   TBA   

On Board Surveys

On board surveys help IndyGo determine who is riding and how the system is being used. The survey results help with service planning and federal reporting to ensure service is distributed equitably to all passengers.


Final Report


Final Report

Title VI

As a public agency that receives funding through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), IndyGo is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that its programs and services do not exclude minority and low-income populations.

To ensure that fair and equitable service is provided, IndyGo must perform analysis by census tract and receive public input on any significant changes to service. If proposed changes to service do not disproportionately burden low-income/minority areas, changes may proceed. If the proposed changes are skewed to more negatively impact low-income/minority areas, the agency must find a way to justify or mitigate the impact.

Learn more about IndyGo’s Title VI program.


Public Input

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), requires federal grantees to have a process for soliciting and considering public comment before raising a fare or carrying out a major service change. In compliance with this requirement, IndyGo has established a two-way communications program to ensure that all citizens, regardless of race, color, religion, income status, national origin, age, gender, disability, marital status or political affiliation, have an equal opportunity to participate in IndyGo’s decision making process.

Indianapolis Regional Transportation Council Administrative Committee Agenda and Notes