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 2018, 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. Visit our Service Standards page to learn more.


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. Just like a highway system, IndyGo has more people riding to and from work during the week.

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. To learn more about stop spacing visit the Bus Stop Balancing page.

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. IndyGo Forward looks at how best to utilize the Transit Center opening and invest in the future of transit in Indianapolis.


IndyGo Forward Volume II Final Report
The research and findings informed the Marion County Transit Plan of the larger Central Indiana Transit Plan.


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. Here is the 2019 Grant Application.

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 Ryan Gallagher, Senior Service Planner (317.614.9334 or


Ridership Data

Here is a month to month breakdown of number of passenger trips on IndyGo’s local routes. Open Door ridership is not reflected in this data.

2017 Ridership
January  722,538
February  723,107
March  748,363
April  712,254
May  742,915
June 732,211
July  683,472
August  805,712
September  748,970
October 763,319
November 719,176
December  651,903
Total   8,754,767


2018 Ridership
January  646,576
February  680,574
March  731,445
April  715,273
May 772,343
June 726,013
July 731,126
August 836,990
September 752,133
October 821337
November 714,543
December 686,176
Total   8,815,808


2019 Ridership
January 673,825
February 677,602
March 715,051
April 749,601



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.

Learn about about our 2016 On Board Survey.


Final Report


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. Check out our Public Involvement Program.

Here is an example of the public input we documented in 2017: