INDIANAPOLIS — IndyGo's newest form of public transportation has become a hot demand.
It's been five months since IndyGo launched IndyGo Connect, a ride-share pilot program for southeast side residents.
"It's awesome. It's great. It's cheap. It's convenient. It's quick, clean and comfortable. Can't ask for more," Mia Britt said.
Britt relies on IndyGo Connect to get to work every day.
"Financially, it helps. I've been off work for almost a year for medical leave and it's just cheaper," Britt said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than Lyft and it's quick and it comes real fast, real dependable, comfortable. It's just nice."
Affordability, convenience and comfort are why she traded IndyGo buses for ride-share drivers.
IndyGo Connect started in May and serves residents on the south side of Indianapolis.
It's similar to Uber and Lyft.
"One difference from an Uber or Lyft service is this isn't door-to-door, but corner-to-corner. Then, it will give you a pickup spot within a block or so," IndyGo Spokesperson, Carrie Black said.
Each ride costs most people $1.75.
Seniors (65+) with a valid state-issued ID and youth under 18 years old with a K-12 or an IndyGo Half-Fare ID ride for $.85 one way.
*All students with a current student ID from the following H.S. are eligible to ride for free:
PPHS – North
PPHS – Downtown/Englewood
IndyMet, Believe Schools
(Only IPS H.S. students with a MyKey logo printed on the back of their student ID are allowed to ride fare free)
"Parents that can't drop their kid off at school at a certain time can call us and then they can track where they are being dropped off and being picked up to," driver Mirracle Hicks said.
IndyGo spokesperson, Carrie Black, says this service is a game changer for residents.
"It's not always practical to send a 40-foot bus into every nook and cranny into every neighborhood. Yet, we still know there are people who need public transportation, who rely on transit so we tried to get creative to reach our rider(s) and still make it make sense," Black said.
IndyGo Connect is averaging 45 to 65 rides per day.
Hicks sees firsthand the benefit.
"I like it. You get to meet different people," Hicks said.
The pilot program was supposed to expire in November, but due to an uptick in the demand, Black says it's now staying put until at least the beginning of next year.
"We define success in being able to see the program grow. We've seen service go up 150%," Black said. "That tells us people are using the service and that the service is needed, so we are very excited for those numbers."
Black encourages riders to continue to use the service while IndyGo monitors the data.
Because of the success so far, it's looking into expanding into other parts of Marion County.
The ride-share pilot program is funded through IndyGo's transportation funds and powered by TransitTech provider Via.
To ride, just download the app, IndyGo Connect.
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