IndyGo CEO Inez Evans leaving after four years leading transit agency

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Inez Evans in 2019. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Inez Evans, IndyGo CEO and president, has submitted her resignation to the organization’s board and plans to depart her role Dec. 31 after more than four years with the agency, IndyGo announced Friday.

IndyGo did not say why Evans was stepping down, but said it planned to “accept her resignation and celebrate her tenure during the upcoming board meeting” on Dec. 14.

Evans, 59, was chief operating officer at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in California before accepting the IndyGo position in 2019. She was first Black woman to become president and CEO of IndyGo and was one of only nine Black women in the country to serve as the CEO of a transit agency.

Jennifer Pyrz, chief development officer for IndyGo, will become interim CEO after Evans’ departure. Pyrz has been with the agency for nearly four years and is credited in an IndyGo media release as being “the woman behind the Purple Line.” Prior to her time with IndyGo, she spent four years with Indianapolis-based engineering firm HNTB Corp.

Pyrz also played major roles in projects like the Bloomington Transit Center, Interstate 69 Section 6, and U.S. Highway 31 through Hamilton County, according to IndyGo.

Evans led the transit agency through several attacks from Republican state lawmakers, a bus rapid transit plan that saw a dramatic price increase and delay,and faced frequent criticism about the efficiency and cost of the bus service.

She was honored in 2022 with the International Woman of the Year Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar International.

“Ms. Evans’ unwavering leadership and unparalleled expertise made her a true trailblazer,” said Mary Ann Fagan, a member of IndyGo’s board of directors. “She will leave an indelible mark on Indianapolis. The IndyGo Board and the agency’s leadership are committed to uplifting her during this time of transition.

“We are grateful to Jennifer Pyrz for stepping in as interim CEO. She understands this agency and the vital service the IndyGo team provides to the city of Indianapolis, and we have no doubt she will continue the positive trajectory of the journey we’ve been on.”

IndyGo touted Evans’ record, which included overseeing the construction and completion of IndyGo’s new 110,000-square-foot East Campus headquarters facility while leading the agency’s nearly 800 employees, directing a fleet of more than 300 vehicles and managing a total budget of more than $256 million.

She also collaborated closely with Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration and the City-County Council to increase the city’s commitment to transit-oriented development.

“During her time as President and CEO, Inez has led IndyGo through a pivotal time for the expansion of bus rapid transit,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a written  statement. “The agency launched the Red Line, weathered the challenges of the pandemic, and is now well on its way to constructing the Purple Line, with the Blue Line to follow. Improved access to transit means better access to jobs, education and opportunities that boost quality of life. Our city is grateful for her service.”

Evans succeeded former IndyGo President and CEO Michael Terry, who held the role for 15 years. Although plans for the Red Line had already been set, the 2019 IndyGo press release announcing her hiring noted that her more than 25 years of experience included “installation of bus rapid transit service and master planning for 100% fleet electrification.”

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19 thoughts on “IndyGo CEO Inez Evans leaving after four years leading transit agency

  1. Who is managing Indy’s Horse Trolley System? Oh, right, the canal barge, trolley and bus systems are antiquated and failures as people move to more efficient travel.

    Maybe Inez Evans is going to buy a yellow cab medallion for herself(she is so forward thinking).

    Dump the busses and go to driverless vans to move people directly to their destinations. This would only save $53 million per year that could be used on better schools. Oh wait, no way our bloated IndyGo employees and union drivers are going to let this happen.

    1. I would love to see the 500,000 driverless cars that would have to hit the streets to resolve your above proposal.

    2. Who is managing the AG?

      What an absolutely ridiculous suggestion. And without any supporting analysis or documentation

      And why the personal attack on Ms Evans? And what expertise in transportation planning, transit planning and operations, or federal grant administration does the author of this comment possess?

      Even if this (driverless vans) were a remotely reasonable suggestion, one might ponder: Are driverless vans free? Is it door to door service or fixed route? Is maintenance of the vans free? Is dispatching of vans free? And, one might question liability for the case when technology fails and persons are injured.

      And has the author completed an analysis of system operating costs for peer agencies nationwide? How does IndyGo cost compare to say, Columbus, Louisville, Omaha — other cities with public transit supported by public dollars. Well, the data is available, the author should take time to review instead of lancing inappropriate texts.

      Also, where does such a futuristic system exist and operate successfully to meet demand.?

    3. You realize schools impose their own property tax and Indy Go imposes its own separate property and income tax? So unless you are proposing the General Assembly and the City-County Council pass new laws, no money that currently goes to public transit would go to any school system. But, do continue to show us your ignorance…

  2. I would love to see a full set of financial statements of IndyGo showing revenues and fully loaded expenses of the organization. I’m guessing it doesn’t show a profit.

    1. I would guess the DPW books show similar…

      It is a government service not a for profit business…

      Wait until you hear about the postal service profit line!

      Also – what you asked about is publicly available via a quick google…

    2. Is the point profit or is the point to give those who have no other means of transportation a way to get around?

      Next you’ll tell me the school system or the military should turn a profit.

    3. Such a silly and lame mindset. Do you think INDOT or DPW make a profit? Infrastructure investments – which includes transit – are not supposed to be directly profitable for the government. Such investments are supposed to facilitate private gains across the economy.

      If you really want to talk about “making a profit”, we can talk about all the stupid highway projects Indiana/INDOT have conducted. Building I69 down between Bloomington and Evansville was a joke. IndyGo’s top 3 routes carry more people than this stretch of interstate, and for much less money.

      Then there’s the new Louisville Bridge, which should’ve never been built. I65 capacity across the Ohio River doubled, but traffic was cut in half because of the toll. So INDOT could’ve just implemented a toll on the existing bridge and saved billions.

      Looking forward, the I69 bridge across the Ohio River & the “Mid States Corridor” will certainly be disasters too.

    4. Your question begs another question: would you even understand the statements, if you got them?

      Because you don’t seem to understand the basic premise of public transportation, or any government service for that matter: it isn’t to show a profit. It’s to provide a service.

      Our car-centric mindset has prevented thousands of Indy citizens from getting better (or ANY) jobs, services and family interaction. In the competition for the best and brightest business minds to come to this city–a comprehensive transportation system is much more important to younger residents and those from other cities.

      So…..put on your civic pride hat, and support the kind of essential infrastructure our city needs to meet the demands of the future.

      Or….sit in a corner, ignoring the basics…in other words….Indy prior to about, oh…..1998 or 2000. We cheap out on everything important.

    5. Transit is not a for profit operation. And this has been the case for all agencies in the so called agencies first world. Transit is a service. Do roadways make profit. Do parks make a profit Do libraries make a profit?

      IndyGo data, and that for all transit agencies receiving federal funding, is available. Check with IndyGo and the Federal Transit Administration.

      Also, check the library — which also is a service without profit — for exhaustive information snd explanation of transit operations and funding and why no agencies make a profit!

    6. I would love to see the financials for IMPD or IFD, or INDOT, I am guessing none of them show a profit either. The point of government is not to turn a profit, and it never has been, nor should it be.

  3. Inez Evans was great. She really cleaned up a lot of issues of the old administration, and she doesn’t get enough credit for that. Most Red Line mishaps were the result of the bad decisions of her predecessors. Hopefully the board picks a great long term successor.

  4. I agree with JJ, Joe are Robert. It’s a public service. I would, however, disagree with Joe on one thing. Public Transit should never be primarily about “giving to those who have no other means of transporation.” That benefit is a side effect. Public transit need to be good and attractive for everyone, including the middle class and the well-to-do. There are many excellent public transit systems around the world. If we had one here, it would be a lot more successful and we would have a better city than we do now. In places were public transit is good, it is successful and everyone rides it, not just the down and out.

    1. The primary purpose should be: to move people. From Point A to Point B. Effectively. Especially….those who have no other means of transporting themselves.

      Look around–in particular, our essential service industries (hospital janitors, cafeteria workers, etc) are often residents near or at the bottom of the economic ladder–and thusly less-able to afford decent vehicles.

    2. You make a good point paul v, but in the Indy car-centric mindset and Republican hatred of anything that is viewed as a social service (as well as their warn out crime scare tactics), the “middle class and well-to-do” are either too married to their cars or are too scared to ride the bus. They don’t want to ride with “those people” who regularly use mass transit. It’s sad, really, because to be a world class city you need world class transit.

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