Posted by Kevin Kastner in Neighborhoods, Transit
on Jun 29th, 2011
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of talking long-term. For transit plans, it basically seems to be a code word for “probably never.” So it was quite a pleasant surprise that IndyGo can actually implement some system enhancements in the next 3 years without a need for improving their funding situation. Unfortunately, these enhancements also come at the expense of yet more service reductions in the system.
Curt Ailes sent me the link to the host page of IndyGo’s Proposed System changes, which is separated in to two parts: Part I, and Part II (large PDF warning). There is a lot of information on the host page if you really want to dig deep, but I’ll stick with covering the changes that could be coming in the near future if IndyGo isn’t able to garner more funding. According to this link (PDF warning), short term in this case means “1-3 years. The plan examines options to enhance the ridership levels achieved from existing resources.” The Short Term Plan is explained further on page 15 of this document. The map is shown below:
On to the summary of the plan. I always like to start with the bad news first, so here goes:
Reduction in services
- Most of the reductions in service occur along what IndyGo is now branding as supporting local bus services.
- Routes 2, 4, 14, 21, 22, 24, 25, and 26 will run only every 60 minutes (!) and end at 7:00 pm (double !). They will all also begin their routes later in the morning. Weekend service will be eliminated for Routes 4 and 24. Routes 21 and 25 will actually add Sunday service (though at a measly 2 hour interval).
- Routes 2, 4, 10, 11, 21, 22, 26, 28, 31, 37, and 87 will shorten or simplify their routes.
- Routes 12, and 16 will also only run every 60 minutes but will keep the same starting and ending times. Route 16 will eliminate weekend service.
- Route 19 will begin service slightly later and end it slightly earlier.
- Route 30 will go to a standard 30/60 schedule, but add weekend hourly service.
- Route 50 (AKA Red Line) will only run every half an hour on evenings, and drop its Saturday service.
- Route 55 will start one hour later.
Small changes to note:
- Route 34 will add a Sunday hourly service.
- Route 37 will have less frequent Saturday buses, but the Sunday buses will run hourly instead of every two hours.
- Now the fun part begins. Unlike the last round of bad news from IndyGo where pretty much all we received were cuts, they are focusing their energy on improving key arterial corridor bus services.
- Route 8 will run every 15 minutes all day long, and every half an hour in the evening.
- Route 10 will also run every 15 minutes during the day, but keep its hourly evening interval.
- Route 18 will feature the improvement that I’m most excited about (since I stand to benefit from it), and that is to move the route away from Meridian, Penn, and Central. The route will now be located more logically along College Avenue, which is (hopefully) a simple way to bring back the 15-minute headways that were previously lost.
- Route 19 will run along North Keystone instead of Allisonville Road. It’s a decent idea to give Keystone more buses, but the route is still too meandering IMO.
- Routes 28 and 37 will become more direct.
- Route 39 will run every 15 minutes during the day and every 10 minutes at peak. 10 minutes is unheard of in this system, so this is a big deal.
It’s awful that so much has to be cut in order to enhance the most popular routes. 60 minute headways that end at 7 pm are inexcusable, and this will happen along 8 of IndyGo’s routes. However, it shows just how dire the funding situation is for the struggling transit system. Hopefully they can secure more funding in order to enact their more optimistic medium and long term plans. Otherwise, the best IndyGo can do is cut their losses and focus on a few major corridors.