No matter how our region’s mobility needs change, our process is an unwavering IndyGo constant: Constant assessment. Constant evaluation. Constant planning. Constant progress.

Transit Planning, Policy, and Performance

Because IndyGo is a recipient of federal, state, and local tax dollars, we are required to follow various federal, state, and local statutes, and to solicit and review public input on a regular basis. To this end, IndyGo uses a variety of planning tools, policies, performance-monitoring methods, and decision-making procedures to ensure that our transit system is running safely, efficiently, and economically.

Service Standards

In 2018, the IndyGo board adopted our service standards policy; it is the essential foundation for our transit-planning’s decision-making process. These standards guide our decisions about route structure, span of service, service frequency, passenger loads, on-time performance, missed trips, and route performance evaluation. View our Service Standards document to learn more.

The revised 2019 Service Standards is being considered for the October 2019 Board of Directors meeting.

Ridership Monitoring

Measuring ridership is key to evaluating a transit system, so IndyGo uses electronic fareboxes to count passenger trips. We then cross-check this data with automatic passenger counters (APCs). APCs provide valuable data on a stop-by-stop basis that give us insight to rider volume, patterns, and predictability.

Ridership will vary throughout a given route’s hours of operation, peaking during typical workday morning rushes. We ramp up our resources to meet these predicted peaks and then scale them back for predictable ridership lows, but not all routes are the same, and some require consistent resource levels throughout the day.

Route Performance

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

Stop Decisions

IndyGo’s system includes more than 3,500 unique-carrier stops.

Our adopted Service Standards call for bus stop spacing of 1/4 mile where frequency and pedestrian infrastructure allow, providing access for riders while minimizing delays.

We rely on established stop guidelines to 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 our methodology and amenity options, visit the Transit Amenities page.

IndyGo conducts a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) of our transit system every five years. These in-depth studies help identify service strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.

We collate and present the findings of the COA in the IndyGo Forward Final Report in which we examine how best to utilize our system assets such as the Transit Center, and how best to invest in the future of transit in Indianapolis.

2015

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

2010

Final Report – Part 1
Final Report – Part 2

2005

Final Report

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

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants limited transportation funds for capital improvements (vehicle acquisition, etc.) through its Section 5310 — Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Grant.

IndyGo is the designated recipient of the Section 5310 funds in the Indianapolis Urbanized Area and is responsible for administering the grant and distributing the funds. More information about Section 5310 funds, including project selection and oversight, can be found in IndyGo’s Section 5310 Program Management Plan. 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 about this grant opportunity, please contact Ryan Wilhite, Strategic Planner at 317.536.2660.

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


2019 Ridership

January 673,825
February 677,602
March 715,051
 April 749,601
May 773,315
June 714,565
July 749,394
August 804,097
September 974,872
October 926,158
November
December
Total

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

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

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

Learn about our 2016 On-Board Survey.

2016

Final Report

2009

Final Report

2001

Final Report

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 we provide fair and equitable service to all populations, IndyGo must perform analysis by census tract and receive public input on any proposals that would significantly change 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.

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.

Bus stop balancing

In Indianapolis, some of our bus stops are spaced too closely together. On a local bus route, stops should be within a convenient walking distance of each other – about a quarter mile. If stops are spaced much more tightly than that, buses spend an excessive amount of time stopped for boarding and at red lights. As part of the Marion County Transit Plan, IndyGo will balance our bus stops to allow people to get where they want to o faster. More detailed information about bus stop spacing can be found in the IndyGo Service Standards Document.

  • Too many bus stops mean that buses aren’t moving as quickly as they should be.
  • People who can currently reach multiple stops won’t see any difference. For riders at stops that have been moved, the maximum added walk time to a new stop should be ¼ mile – approximately five minutes.
  • This (slightly) longer walk means a faster ride, which will enable people to spend more time doing the things they love.

How do we decide what stops to keep and what stops to remove?

  • Stops near points of interest, schools and hospitals will not be impacted.
  • Stops that have lower ridership and pedestrian accessibility issues could be considered for removal.

Watch this video from the Transit Center to see how rebalancing bus stops speeds up the service dramatically.

Bus Stop Balancing Video

Background & Public Involvement

Since 2009, various studies and sustained public involvement under the banner Indy Connect have helped sculpt a detailed plan for regional mass transit with the support of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA).

An effective public involvement program provides for an open exchange of information and ideas between the public and transportation decision makers. The objective of IndyGo’s public involvement process is to support proactive public involvement at all stages of planning and project development.

Hundreds of public meetings to gather input from the public have taken place over the years to help refine what the transit priorities are for Central Indiana.

In 2014, IndyGo Forward helped set a direction for the agency’s future investments. Public discussions focused on the tradeoff between coverage-based services and ridership-generating services. With comments from IndyGo Forward and Indy Connect, a specific Marion County plan has been developed.

In February of 2016, IndyGo introduced the Marion County Transit Plan to the public. Legal notices, paid radio and internet ads, on-board print and audio announcements, postings at major stops in the downtown area, direct communication to e-newsletter subscribers, social media, website updates, press releases and partner communications gave options to learn about the plan. In just over 5 weeks, IndyGo hosted or attended 17 meetings to promote the plan and gather feedback.

February through April 2016 Marion County Transit Plan Outreach Events:

2/5/2016 MCTP Open House @ Central Library
2/10/2016 Indy Hub :: Dinner Series Irvington
2/13/2016 MCTP Open House @ Haughville Library
2/15/2016 MCTP Open House @ CAFE
2/15/2016 Town Hall Meeting @ Wayne Township Library
2/16/2016 Garfield Park Neighborhood Association Meeting
2/22/2016 Michigan Rd./ Riviera NA Meeting
2/26/2016 MCTP PUBLIC EDUCATION ADVISORY GROUP
2/27/2016 MCTP Open House @ Central Library
2/27/2016 Southside Envisiong Summit
3/2/2016 Downtown YMCA Top 10 Coalition MCTP Presentation
3/8/2016 Carriage House Apartments
3/9/2016 Indy Hub :: Dinner Series Nora
3/9/2016 IMPD Community Conversation
3/10/2016 Connexion Event hosted by Indy Chamber
3/10/2016 Warfleigh Annual Meeting
3/14/2016 MCTP Open House @ Nora
3/16/2016 tech + fashion + transit + urban
3/17/2016 Next Stop Opportunity
3/21/2016 MCTP Open House @ City of Lawrence
3/23/2016 MCTP Open House @ Speedway
3/24/2016 State of Downtown w/Downtown Indy
3/30/2016 MCTP Open House @ E. 38th St.
3/31/2016 MCTP Open House @ Indianapolis Urban League
4/5/2016 MCTP Open House @ Perry Township

IndyGo collected comments at meetings, online, and through the customer service call center.  Staff received and reviewed 97 comments.

Overall Comments – 97

  • Positive – 36
    • Better Frequencies – 5
    • Longer Hours – 12
    • Better Weekend Service – 11
    • General Support- 15
  • Neutral/Questions—34
    • Clarification— 2
    • Suggestion—32
    • More Coverage – 17
    • General Suggestion – 15
  • Negative slant or concern expressed— 20
    • Safety – 1
    • Access/Usefulness – 5
    • Farther Walk – 4
    • Rail – 1
    • Full-on Opposition – 3
    • General Concerns – 3
    • Cost – 3

Key Themes:

  • Desire to have longer hours of service
  • Cross-town Connections
  • Citizens want greater frequency
  • Access to routes
  • Providing more coverage
  • Better weekend service

The Marion County Transit Plan is generally well received. Positive feedback focuses on the benefits of increased service hours and general support for a more robust transit system in Indianapolis. The majority of the comments were questions and suggestions which centered on adding more weekend service and additional system coverage to reach areas currently not served. There are concerns about the consolidation of routes and how that will affect particular corridors in terms of ease of accessibility to routes. Some citizens are concerned about having to walk further to a stop. Additionally some have expressed the desire for more frequent service on the South and West sides of the city.

Staff reviewed comments and assessed what changes could be made to improve the plan and enhance equity especially on the west, south and southeast sides.  A summary of the changes made to the plan follows:

  • High frequency for West 38th Street.
  • New north-south connection on west side to facilitate transfers outside of downtown.
  • New service to Park Fletcher on southwest side.
  • New service structure on near southside to better serve denser areas and improve service compared to current day.
  • Improved frequency for inner southeast area including high frequency for South East Street and Beech Grove.

Benefits

Since 2009, the Indy Connect initiative has pulled together city leaders, neighborhoods, businesses, residents, local organizations, and national transit experts to look at transit service in Central Indiana, and to map out what an improved transit system could look like in Indy. While transit isn’t a silver bullet, these groups recognize that access to useful, low cost transit service has a positive impact on a number of issues Indy faces.

Housing near good public transit is in high demand, even in bad housing markets. During the last recession, residential values performed 42% better when they were located near high quality transit service.

 

About 59% of transit trips are trips to work, and businesses located on transit routes have significantly less employee turnover. Indianapolis currently ranks 64th in job access via transit.

Only about 1 of every 20 kids born in poverty in Indianapolis can climb to the top of the economic ladder, making Indy one of the least upwardly mobile cities in the U.S. (ranked 46th of 50). Transit provides reliable, low-cost access to work and school.

Millennials (born 1980-2000) are now the majority of the workforce, and attracting talented young workers is key to local economic development. Surveys and data show that Millennials are looking for walkable, mixed-use, transit-served neighborhoods.

The average transit rider gets 3 times more physical activity per day than non-riders by walking to stops and final destinations, and they’re also 170 times less likely to be in an accident than car passengers.

Indy households spend about $12,000 per year on transportation. On average, households in “transit rich” neighborhoods save $6,000.

Investments in transit typically generate $3 for every $1 invested,9 but it can be much more. Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue HealthLine generated $114.54 in economic development for every dollar, leveraging nearly $6 billion in development along the corridor.

Those too old, too young, banned, or facing
a disability that prevents them from driving experience major isolation. They make 15% fewer trips to the doctor, 59% fewer shopping trips and restaurant visits, and 65% fewer trips for social, family, and religious activities than drivers do.

 

About 79% of Indy’s senior citizens have poor transit access, which ranks 39th out of the 46 mid-sized U.S. metros.13 Indy’s over-65 demographic will continue to grow exponentially over the next decade; seniors are living longer, and they’re facing major barriers to driving as they try to age in place.