IndyGo’s Fare Warning: More Convenience Ahead

Image courtesy of Flowbird North America

IndyGo is proposing changes to its fare policy and seeks public comment.

As the transit service provider continues to implement the Marion County Transit Plan, it will not only transition bus service to a grid-based network with longer hours and greater frequency but will also add three bus rapid transit routes and improved local routes.

These updates to the system include proposals to make transit even more affordable. The proposed changes include:

  • Maintaining current $1.75 base fare ($0.85 half fare) and adding a 2-hour free transfer ticket
  • Offering the option of an account-based system with tap card and mobile phone app
  • Capping fares for customers using account-based system
    ⁃ Daily cap at $4 ($2 half fare)
    ⁃ Weekly cap at $15.75 ($7.65 half fare)
  • Eliminating free fixed route for Open Door customers
    – Making Open Door customers eligible for half fare

View the complete policy proposal and a narrated presentation online then participate in the online survey which is open until Feb. 22.

Public information meetings are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Central Library, Knall Meeting Room, 40 E. St. Clair Street. The final public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the IndyGo Board Room, 1501 W. Washington.

Public comments will be accepted in person at the meetings, online, by phone (317-635-3344), and at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington St., until Friday, Feb. 22, at 5 p.m..

Other changes are coming to the way IndyGo collects fares. After issuing a Request for Proposals, in June 2018 IndyGo selected Flowbird Group as the vendor to help design an account-based ticketing system that integrates with upcoming bus rapid transit service as well as expanded local fixed route service and paratransit service. Flowbird North America has experience with such systems through its work with New York City Transit, Houston METRO, METRO Minneapolis, and M-1 Rail in Detroit.

“IndyGo’s current cash-only or prepaid paper pass fare collection system that we have in place today does limit spontaneous use of transit. A comprehensive fare upgrade in the midst of a system overhaul is a huge opportunity,” said Bryan Luellen, vice president of public affairs for IndyGo. For example, Strada Ticket Vending Machines will be installed to permit off-board fare payment at bus rapid transit stations, an effective and efficient way to speed up service. Strada devices are also expected to improve convenience by accepting coins, bills, and credit and debit cards. Flowbird is also developing a custom mobile ticketing app for both iOS and Android platforms.