Ridership on IndyGo is at a nearly 20-year high and was up 27 percent in January and February compared with the same period last year.
The city’s bus system cites higher gas prices, unseasonably warm weather and “efficiency-focused service delivery.”
IndyGo officials did not cite possible effects from the Super Bowl, which was held during the two-month period in which ridership hit 1.65 million people.
Underfunded compared with peer cities such as Columbus, Ohio, IndyGo nevertheless managed to carry more people despite 30 percent fewer routes than during the peak year of 1997.
IndyGo has introduced a number of new technologies to attract customers, including automated bus announcements and social media tools to make it easier to plan trips.
“We will continue to explore ways to improve our operations, but our next hurdle will be addressing growing demand for increased services,” said IndyGo CEO Mike Terry.
Public transit advocates had been hoping the Indiana General Assembly would pass a bill that would have allowed voters in Marion and Hamilton counties to vote for or against a regional transit system.
Part of that plan included expanded funding for bus service, including bus rapid transit corridors.
Despite years of intensive public and politician outreach, the transit bill died in the House Ways and Means Committee by an 11-10 vote.