IndyGo proposes 2013 budget increase of $8.3 million

IndyGo on Ohio St (image credit: Curt Ailes)
IndyGo on Ohio St (image credit: Curt Ailes)

IndyGo submitted it’s 2013 budget proposal (click to open .pdf) to it’s board on August 2nd, 2012. The 2013 budget as proposed, represents an $8.3 million increase over 2012’s adopted budget.

In an executive summary, IndyGo President & CEO Mike Terry indicates that the proposed increase would be applied towards increasing service based off of the 2010 Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). The proposal, as Terry details, is well timed to correlate with observed increases in boardings over the last 2 years in the face of declining revenue & threatened service cuts. Additionally, the proposal touches on Indy Connect and that if adopted, would further strengthen the backbone of the proposed long range transit plan. According to the summary,

“With an additional investment of $6M, IndyGo would begin to phase in more service during 2013 following the implementation plans detailed in the comprehensive operational analysis completed during the Indy Connect study. The additional service would begin with greater frequency of service, extending the span of service hours, increasing hours of service on weekends and adding a new route.”

While the funding could change, this is a bold step forward for IndyGo. Embracing the conclusions of the 2010 COA, proposing more operating funding and putting the ball squarely in the City’s court serves notice that IndyGo is ready to move forward with or without additional funding that would be provided by Indy Connect. Additionally, it gives the City an opportunity to act on numerous vows from public officials to actually do something about affecting transit service. The exact service increases are not set in stone, but according to Mike Terry, Tier 1 routes from the COA would be the initial focus of increased service and frequency. The Tier 1 routes are the “Key Arterial Routes” from the COA and are listed as follows:

  • Meridian Street/East 38th Street (Route 39)
  • Washington Street (Route 8)
  • 10th Street (Route 10)
  • College Avenue (Routes 17/18)
  • Madison Avenue (Route 31)
  • Lafayette Road (Route 37)

The COA recommends 15 minute service all day on weekdays and 30 minute minimum’s on weekends for the short term with increased service from 4:30am to 12:30am.

Short Term Proposed IndyGo route changes (image credit: 2010 IndyGo COA)
Short Term Proposed IndyGo route changes (image credit: 2010 IndyGo COA)

Furthermore, the summary indicates that IndyGo was awarded a federal grant to provide security within it’s service area. The details of this are less clear, but it appears that IndyGo will be hiring a 3rd party vendor to provide security near sheltered stops as well as on board; this would go a long way towards addressing public criticism of the unsafe nature of some boarding shelters.

In conclusion, IndyGo’s bold move on the 2013 budget represents a huge step for the public agency. As a local transit advocate, it makes me proud to see our local provider stepping up to the plate to be an advocate for itself. The Tier 1 upgrades would be a tremendous boon to locals who use the service today. Personally, as a family who uses the bus weekly, this would be a tremendous boost to the ride experience. City Council, you have MY vote!

Comments 8

  • I can remember riding Indy buses when they had double coach sections with a flexible center joint and they were often standing room only. I wonder what caused bus riding become so unpopular?

  • Hope it goes through, though I have heard a rumor the green line may be on the way out.

    • …and I was right

      • It wasn’t a rumor. We knew months ago it was running out. Its no secret that this was a federally funded program and that it would run out eventually. IndyGo isn’t in the business of reminding people often that a certain route is going to run out though, so the announcement ahead of time, is par for the course. Too bad it is running out, but it does have a significantly lower amount of boardings compared to the fixed routes. If you measure it on per ride basis, it is tremendously higher per ride than say, the 17 or the 8.

        • I road the Green Line to and from the airport. I have never been on such a poorly advertised route in my life. The IndyGo counter had no one working at it at the airport (all other shuttles did), and the signs for the route are nearly invisible around downtown. Also, you can pay on board with a credit card but it doesn’t tell you that online or on any of the signage. I had to call IndyGo to verify that was the case. If you are going to offer a useful service, be sure people know about it.

  • Good for Indygo !

    Sort of off-topic – if the goal is to help people get around, and that the most urgent need is for poor people to get to their jobs/grocery/doctor/etc, then I wonder about the impact of city taxi regulation. An 8 mile trip by taxi costs $28; Indy’s cab fares are about the same as NYC.

  • Why doesn’t the city start developing higher dense, mixed use communities within our scattered suburb. Then we wouldn’t have to keep talking about our worthless bus system? Let the new BRT lines connect these new developments when the time is natural.

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