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IndyGo Express Bus Exceeding Expectations

Or, “words that start with ‘ex'”. Anyways, it has to be seen as a positive sign that the Fishers-to-Indy express bus has been successful. 500 trips a day may not sound like much, but that’s 500 less cars on the road. Also, the demand will allow IndyGo to look in to expanding to other areas.

On a personal note, I have taken the bus to work almost every day so far this year. Last weekend I bought gas for the car for the first time since 2007. I’m trying to help the evil oil companies as little as possible. But really, they’re just the dealers, and we are the junkies. Riding the bus is an interesting experience. If nothing else, it makes me feel like I’m in a city and not a suburb. I encourage anyone who lives around Broad Ripple and works downtown to give Bus 17 a shot. As you stand at the stop, just look at all the cars passing you. Notice how many of them have just one occupant. It gives one pause when you think about where the oil is coming from, and what the exhaust is doing to this planet. Once you start making the bus a habit, it is hard to go back to the stress of the daily work commute. You may even start to look forward to the bus ride as I have.

15 Responses to “ “IndyGo Express Bus Exceeding Expectations”

  1. CorrND says:

    I’m a commuting embarrassment. I live about 4 blocks from work and drive most days. Before anyone dies of shock, though, I have a decent reason: I carpool with my wife, whose commute is about a mile. In total, we commute about 3 miles daily for 2 people.

    Some days I feel like a schmuck; some days (today) I’m VERY glad to not be walking. In warmer/nicer weather I try to walk 2-3 times per week.

    And even when I do drive and feel schmucky, I can remind myself that I’m nowhere near as bad as the many people that live in Noblesville and commute to downtown Indy.

  2. Kevin says:

    I understand, even when I lived downtown, I still drove the 5 1/2 blocks occasionally.

    I’m very lucky to live 2 blocks from the best bus line in town. I just didn’t take advantage of it until this year. I guess I finally made a New Years Resolution after 30 years…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to you for riding the bus. IndyGo certainly is an adventure! I ride the 31 every day to and from Greenwood. It’s amazing how relaxed and refreshed I am when I get to work – a combination of a no stress commute and having time to read a book or magazine.

    -Brett

  4. thundermutt says:

    IndyGo is fine if you work downtown and live near a bus line. I live and work less than 100 yards from buslines, but my trip would require a transfer in downtown and a total one-way trip of almost an hour.

    I live and work in Center Township.

    That ain’t right.

  5. John M says:

    I really have considered trying Indygo. I live a block from the 10th Street line. Does anyone know how often I should expect a #10 bus to pass by during rush hour? That’s my frustration with Indygo. I’m usually pretty good at finding info on the web, but all I can find on the Indygo website is a route map. My current commute, from my back door to my desk, is about 20 minutes, which includes parking and walking a block from my garage to my office. I know that a bus schedule is never as reliable as a train schedule, but it would be nice to at least have an average idea of how long it would take me to get from 10th and Emerson to Ohio and Alabama.

  6. John M says:

    Silly me. I found it pretty quickly. Looks like 25 minutes to half an hour. Probably worth a shot. Anyone have any experience with how reliable these timetables are?

  7. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I would like to add that I agree that IndyGo needs to add some more linear inner city routes (and not eliminate the other ones). Looking at a bus map of Chicago is very depressing as it basically just follows the main streets, but then they have more intact blocks than we do.

    John, the bus schedules do have time tables. Looks like the 10th Street bus comes by every half-hour. It stops at Community Hospital East at 7:14 and 7:44 and arrives at Ohio and Penn about a half an hour later. The bus home leaves Delaware and North at 4:50 and 5:20. It looks like it stops at Ohio and Delaware which would make it a little earlier than that.

    Here’s a link

  8. Kevin says:

    No problem. Well for the College route, the timetables are pretty good. Once you start taking the bus you get more of a feel for when they get there. The buses are almost never early, and if they are they will sit and let some traffic pass. Good luck!

  9. Anonymous says:

    One of the other problems with IndyGo that I have noticed on my commute from downtown Indy North on Meridian to where I live at about 42nd. Look next time you go North. If your at a light, you can see two maybe three bus stops in front of you. EVERY single street along meridian (each Block) is practically a bus stop! This is inefficient. It lends itself to creating more gridlock for the commuters going up and down meridian, and people can walk more than a block to get to a bus stop. In Bloomington, it is not anywhere near every block. Maybe every 3 blocks. This gets more people in to one stop, less emissions being put out, less traffic congestions, and keeping on time with the schedules posted. Wish they would understand this!

  10. thundermutt says:

    I have noticed that too, anon. Stops are generally too close together in the Meridian Corridor (which includes Penn and Illinois).

  11. Kevin says:

    I remember hearing an NPR report about how Los Angeles removed many of their bus stops, and increased their ridership and efficiency. That is something we should look in to.

  12. The Urbanophile says:

    I used to ride the College bus from Broad Ripple to downtown, though not for commuting. But that was when there was 20 minute headways compared with 30 minutes today.

    In order to really get decent patronage on the bus, you really need 10 minute headways. I’d suggest that the College corridor is an excellent candidate for beefed up bus service along these lines that would be the start of building an effective transit model for Indianapolis around things that can actually work, such as buses in corridors like this.

  13. Kevin says:

    I didn’t realise that College used to run at 20-minute intervals. Bummer.

    Perhaps even a symbiotic relationship between Mass Ave and Broad Ripple could form if they were to increase College Avenue services on nights and weekends. Hey kids, stop drunk driving and expensive cab fares…hop on the bus and leave your car at home.

  14. Peter says:

    Urbanophile –

    It’s a little more complicated than that:

    Bus 17 runs with a 15 minute interval during peak periods. *But* it takes a different route through BR, one time going on Kessler, the next on BR ave.

    So if you wait at a bus stop on Kessler or BR ave, there is a 30 minute wait between buses. If you get the bus at Glendale or College south of Kessler, there is about a 15 minute wait. Looking at the schedule, it looks like Bus 17 stops on College 9 times between 6am and 8am, and it stops at Glendale 8 times between 6-8.

    *But* – if you are at a bus stop on College, you can also catch bus 18, which stops 4x b/t 6 and 8, giving you 13 available buses between 6 and 8. And at Glendale, you can also get bus 19, which stops 5x between 6 and 8, also for a total of 13 available buses.

    I live half a block away from BR Ave., so I do wish buses stopped there more often – but all in all I don’t think the service is particularly bad.

  15. The Urbanophile says:

    peter, thanks for the clarification. I do recall that there seemed to be more frequent service at some point.

    That Kessler routing always annoyed me. You had to get off going northbound on Kessler and walk a good distance north to get to Broad Ripple Ave.

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