Fall 2017 SAVI Online Magazine Emagazine Fall 2017 FINAL - Page 7

This bus stop features sheltered benches and a safe curbed waiting area, which some potential Indy riders consider an important aspect when deciding to use public transit. talked about the Marion County Transit Plan, which will be phased in through 2021. It involves an increase in the frequency of IndyGo’s regular routes, the creation of three rapid- transit lines, and other upgrades to the system. The improvements are funded by a tax increase that Marion County voters passed in 2016 and the City County Council approved in February. At the dinners, Hulse asked members how they perceived IndyGo and whether they used public transit in their out-of-town travels. The vast majority said they never use IndyGo—though nearly all of them use public transit when they visit other cities. “There’s this massive split in their behavior between when they’re in Indianapolis and when they’re in another city,” Hulse says “Which means that if it’s available, and it’s a viable option, they’re going to use it.” Polis found that, for the two largest groups of IndyGo riders, half are millennials (people under 35). These are racially diverse riders who are employed full-time or part-time. They use the bus almost daily, and they use it primarily to get to work and for social reasons. Opportunities aplenty For some IndyGo riders, of course, the bus is in fact the only transportation option. James Taylor sees them every day in his work as the CEO of the John H. Boner Community Center, a nonprofit that offers community development and life-skills programs in a low-income neighborhood on the city’s near east side. Taylor says that IndyGo’s improvements and expansion plans are poised to have a dramatic, positive effect on the people that his organization serves. “Access to transit is really about economic opportunity and educational opportunity,” he says. 7