It’s almost fall—the start of IndyGo’s annual scramble to find cash to at least sustain its current level of bus service.
The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp. has budgeted expenses of $57 million for 2012, but officials expect a revenue shortfall of $6.4 million because of drops in federal, state and local funding. A loss of one-time funding and fuel increases also contribute to the gap.
IndyGo’s board will look at options such as service reductions, fare increases and how the agency uses capital funds. A public hearing is set for 5 p.m. Aug. 18 at the bus system’s headquarters along West Washington Street.
The City-County Council isn’t expected to approve a final budget for IndyGo until October.
In the future, relief to the perennially underfunded IndyGo could come with the establishment of a new taxing mechanism in the region to pay for a commuter railroad system and bus service improvements.
Leaders of the Indy Connect transit initiative are contemplating plans to seek a funding mechanism through the Indiana General Assembly. Driving Indy Connect are the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, IndyGo, the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.