IndyGo is committed to creating and managing an efficient and effective service for our ridership. Our public outreach efforts enable us to better understand our riders’ needs and plan service that works for them. Below are just some of our past, present and future planning efforts.
2016 Central Indiana Transit Plan Survey
The 2016 Central Indiana Transit Plan Survey helped to establish the original transit rider demands. The following are the seven demands of transit riders. Customer surveys and feedback obtained during community engagement events tell us that these still hold true today:
- It takes me where I want to go.
- It takes me when I want to go.
- It is good use of my time.
- It is a good use of my money.
- It respects me in the level of safety, comfort, and amenity it provides.
- I can trust it.
- It gives me freedom to change my plans.
The Marion County Transit Plan (MCTP) – In 2014, Indiana passed legislation to enable a stable and dedicated funding source for transit investments via a public referendum process. It allowed six central Indiana counties to ask for voter approval for a local income tax that funded transit within that county, following the development of a document outlining how revenue dollars would be spent. The resulting document was the Marion County Transit Plan (MCTP), which was developed after hundreds of hours of public input and technical transit planning. Improvements to local bus service were also identified along with the addition of BRT. The implementation of this plan began even before the passing of the local tax referendum by the City-County Council in 2016, with the decision to design and build the Red Line even if the referendum funding failed voter approval.
Here’s what’s already been implemented:
- Every route now operates seven days a week.
- The first of three new BRT routes, the Red Line, launched on Sept. 1, 2019.
- IndyGo achieved a 38% increase in service (prior to COVID-19).
- Service frequency increased on Routes 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 30, 31, 34, 37, 39 and 87.
- New buses were purchased, and old ones were retired.
- We added new staff to expand operational and administrative capabilities.
- The MyKey fare system was developed and launched.
- Electrification of bus rapid transit (BRT).
Here’s what’s currently in progress:
- Construction of the Purple Line will be underway soon and is expected to be completed in 2024. For more information about the Purple Line BRT project, click HERE.
- Design for the Blue Line is underway. For more information about the Blue Line BRT project, click HERE.
- We’re working on the rollout of a MyKey retail network and other system enhancements.
Route Changes Effective June 2020 – Throughout 2019 and into 2020, IndyGo worked closely with community stakeholders and held or attended 19 community events about proposed changes to the local route network. Over 230 unique comments about the proposed changes were received and reviewed by IndyGo staff. This public outreach informed the final MCTP system map, with a proposed implementation date of June 2020. This would have reoriented IndyGo’s hub-and-spoke system to a connected grid system. Following the completion of a service equity analysis of the proposed network, the June 2020 future service plan was adopted by the Indiana Public Transportation Corporation’s Board of Directors on April 23, 2020. However, at that same meeting of the IPTC Board of Directors, the emerging COVID-19 pandemic caused the agency to approve an emergency response plan that delayed the June 2020 MCTP route changes indefinitely. Since that time, many of the original milestones and deadlines established by the MCTP have passed. In fact, so much time has passed that it’s again time for IndyGo to conduct another comprehensive operational analysis and a detailed review of the network redesign.
To learn about the changes, check out the Outreach Summary report below.
To view the report of the conducted outreach for the route changes click HERE.
To view an Index of the unique comments that IndyGo received during this process click HERE.
To learn more about our public outreach efforts leading up to the adoption of the June 2020 proposed route changes, click HERE.
To see a higher resolution image of the map shown above, click HERE.
Review of the Network Redesign – In 2020, the IPTC Board of Directors approved IndyGo staff to move forward with its next comprehensive operational analysis (COA) to review the network redesign. This is largely because the five-year planning horizon set by the 2016 COA was about to end, as well as the need to address current and anticipated challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the current COA is four-fold. First, the five-year planning horizon set by the 2016 COA, which included a major network redesign, has passed and needs to be updated. Second, IndyGo’s future service plan must now address current and anticipated challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Third, much about how people live, work, shop and move has changed in the last few years. As a result, we need to revisit what we know about ridership and residents, and what all of it means for IndyGo’s financial projections. Finally, we need to develop a new set of milestones for the implementation of IndyGo’s local route improvements. To be successful, we know we need to use a phased-in approach, rather than a wholesale change of the local bus network all at once.
This process of reviewing the network redesign has been underway since early 2021. What has IndyGo heard from community stakeholders thus far? They have reinforced the need for a transit network that offers frequent, reliable and accessible public transportation. To learn more about how to become actively engaged in this process, click HERE.
Upcoming & Future Planning Efforts
IndyGo is committed to undertaking new COA planning studies on a consistent five-year timeline, which would mean the next study will be completed by 2027. In the years between, there’s the opportunity to make changes to the local route network that would take effect in either February, June or October of every year. This can sometimes require IndyGo to conduct smaller planning studies. Another planning effort that informs this work includes IndyGo’s rider surveys. The next on-board (the bus) survey is scheduled to take place in fall of 2023. Upcoming planning efforts include smaller area planning studies, including planning for transit-oriented development, as well as pilot projects, such as a microtransit pilot.