IndyGo in line for nearly $45 million in federal COVID-19 relief

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The Federal Transit Administration announced Friday that it will provide $55.5 million in relief for Indiana’s public transit agencies, with most of that money earmarked for IndyGo.

Of that $55.5 million, $44.6 million is earmarked for the Indianapolis metro area. IndyGo says a small percentage of the $44.6 million will go to the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority, but exact figures were not immediately available.

The Indiana award is part of $25 billion in aid that the federal government is making available to transit agencies nationwide as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law March 27.

“We know that many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a written statement. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”

The funding comes in the form of grants—they do not have to be repaid and require no local match. Transit agencies can use the money to support capital, operating and other eligible expenses, including COVID-19-related expenses such as employee leave and the sanitizing of buses and transit facilities.

Other Indiana transit operators set to receive funding through the program are in Anderson, Bloomington, Columbus, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Lafayette, Michigan City/La Porte, Muncie, South Bend and Terre Haute.

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11 thoughts on “IndyGo in line for nearly $45 million in federal COVID-19 relief

    1. What a waste of money. That is revolting. Why, I just told my husband a few days ago Indy Go would probably luck out and be in the right place at the right time. Dumping federal dollars into this just prolongs the amount of time those lines will survive until they blow through all the money. Disgusting. IndyGo should refuse it in good conscience, so it could be put to use on something worthwhile. How does this kind of stuff happen……………. Indeed, a sick stroke of luck – well said.

  1. I strongly disagree. Why is it a waste of money. IndyGo is public transportation and provides for a public need. The FTA provides aid to transit agencies throughout the nation and IndyGo should also receive assistance for impacts due to the unwanted Coronavirus. IndgGo should ACCEPT the aid as will all other comparable agencies across the nation. Federal dollar are alloated based on need and use. Indianapolis has a great deal of need, Perhaps some do not nor need not use IndyGo, but hat is not the reality for others.

  2. Are those who use transit not worthwhile? Is assisting agencies nationwide not worthwhile. What, pray tell, is indeed a worthwhile use of funds from the Federal Transit Administrations which provides funding to transit?

  3. This will never work until they sync all traffic signals to go GREEN as the bus approaches. Otherwise, how can you keep a schedule when you don’t know about traffic conditions.

    1. I was completely dumbfounded when I saw that they weren’t doing this. Seems like such a no brainer…

  4. It’s not as easy as one thinks, once cannot just flip a switch and everything works. If the objective is to move traffic with synchro signals (as historically had been the case along Capitol, Illinois and Delaware Streets,), that is straightforward enough, but to incorporate stops with variable dwell times along with dynamic adjustment of signal cycles take fine tuning. I agree that buses should have priority but there has to be a balance that allows for cross street traffic and turns. Schedules are developed based on point to point travel time including stops and signal delay. Should signal priority/preemptions paradigms change, the schedule can be adjusted accordingly. As I have read so much vitriol regarding IndyGo, I am sure if buses had absolute priority and some might experience a 90 second delay at a signal, a massive protest would erupt. Actually, IndyGo has implemented a progressive model of BRT and the plans will set IndyGO as a major trendsetter nationwide for a smaller transit operation, This is a particularly positive outcome for an agency historically beleaguered by underfunding and hostile legislation, Indianapolis has finally emerged from national laughingstock of transit to a place where other agencies seek to learn from. Yes, there are items that need to be adjusted in addition to signals, most notable is the lack of consistent bus alignment with station platforms — there should not be a wide gap, transitions are too abrupt at intersections leading to slow travel, and BYD should be held accountable for bus charging infrastructure at no cost to IndyGO.

  5. According to the Financials on the IndyGo website, annual fare revenue is about $10M, which equates to about 10% of all Revenue. The rest is various taxpayer handouts. IndyGo ridership has been disrupted for 6 weeks. Take it to an extreme, and say they are disrupted for an entire year. Someone explain to me how they need $45M.

  6. Ongoing costs for operations and maintenance, including operations staff and administration wages and salaries, fuel, debt, insurance. Ongoing impacts will extend throughout this year and next year and additional costs have been incurred to maintain safe state conditions for vehicles and for employees due to COVID19. Taxpayer support is derived from the local income tax, federal formula funds, and some state funds. A majority of capita funds are federal. IndyGO is justified in receiving support as are other transit agencies in the state and nationwide as attributable to COVID-19 impacts. Each aspect of revenue is key for transit operations and. In fact, it’s about time that Indiana and Indianapolis and other statewide transit providers receive a return of gas tax revenues that flow the the Mass Transit fund. The best answer is to address the Board at IndyGO rather than speculate. IndyGO is a public agency. Better yet, the FTA website provides explanation for formula funding for US transit agencies and details for grant funding and corresponding justification with respect the CARES Act. This is not a special favor to IndyGO.

  7. It is Ground Hog Day in DC, just throw money we don’t have at problems that can’ be fixed. Amtrak is the epitome of public transportation and a last I check we the taxpayer subsidize every ticket sold to the tune of $65.00. Tell me what is wrong with that business model.