IndyGo to remove more than 500 bus stops in ‘balancing’ effort

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IndyGo on Monday said it would eliminate more than 500 bus stops as part of an effort to make routes more efficient.

The public transit agency said the “bus stop balancing” effort would remove about 15% of the system’s stops overall.

“Bus stop balancing is the process of assessing the spacing between existing bus stops and removing stops that are too close together according to the service standards,” IndyGo said in a written statement. “This makes bus travel more efficient by decreasing the amount of time a bus spends slowed or stopped at a bus stop.”

Of the 3,385 bus stops currently in IndyGo’s system, 544 stops will be affected by plan, which includes stops being moved, consolidated with other stops or being removed. There will be 45 new stops as a result of stop consolidations, moves and additions, and a net decrease of 524 stops.

More than 60% of stops slated for removal have fewer than two boardings per day, on average, the agency said.

IndyGo said it would begin posting stickers at affected stops starting Aug. 31. Stop removals and the installation of new stops will begin Sept. 14.

IndyGo said the balancing program would not eliminate any routes. IndyGo had planned to make major route changes this year, but has postponed those changes until next year because of the pandemic.

The agency said its service standards recommend that bus stops along frequent routes should be placed about a quarter-mile apart and that stops along less-frequent routes should be placed between four and six times per mile.

IndyGo said staff considered existing pedestrian infrastructure and accessibility, opportunities to transfer to other routes, land use and zoning, and average daily ridership when deciding which stops to change.

Riders can use an interactive map tool on indygo.net/stopchanges to see which stops will be affected and where new bus stops will be located.

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8 thoughts on “IndyGo to remove more than 500 bus stops in ‘balancing’ effort

  1. “… removing stops that are too close together according to the service standards.” Didn’t IndyGo know the service standards when they were planning the line? This is indicative of the poor planning and operation of this entity. Wasting more money.

    1. These stops were put in place over several decades, many of them are left over from when the system was called “Metro.” The service standards were adopted in 2018 and this is the culmination of that planning process.

  2. When I moved to Indy a few years ago, I wondered why there were so many bus stops, often only a block away from each other. It seemed like such a waste. No other large city I‘ve lived in had stops placed that way.
    This is a good idea. It will help make buses faster and more reliable. I’m glad Indy is getting its transit system up to standards.

    1. When I used to live in Philadelphia, it would have bus stops at every block on some of the prime east-west downtown routes. It seemed wasteful to me then, and Center City Philadelphia is a much more densely populated downtown with a far more robust transportation network. I can’t imagine how decadent and counter-productive a block-by-block bus stop would seem in a downtown like Indianapolis.

  3. Many agencies across the nation are removing lightly used bus stops to improve efficiency. Historically, bus stops were located at all cross streets and some were mid-block. While this may have been beneficial 50 years ago when the network extent was significantly less and the boardings per stop higher. This is no longer the case. Guidelines must however be reconciled with spatial reality such as irregular block length, walk access routes from adjacent blocks, driveways, sight distance, and where implemented, space for shelters.

  4. When IndyGo was proposing the Dead Line they touted the benefit to the handicapped community. Then the stops were placed in the middle of the streets with less boarding stations. How many disabled really want to travel further to a stop, then get to the middle of the road?

    On another matter, in many meetings with these IndyGo folks and their plan for the Red to be a faster solution, we suggested that if they are going to reduce stops anyway that they really didn’t need to implement the center road concept, since the stops were being reduced, and that in itself makes the route faster. If the stops they are eliminating are used so infrequently anyway, then how much time are they actually loosing?

    Another excuse, the pandemic, for not adjusting routes. People will get accustomed to the fewer pickup locations, then they will make changes again. Now they want a new headquarters since they need more space. Who pays? Funding comes from property taxes as well as rider fees and other taxing revenue. Red Line revenue from riders is probably not even known since tickets are not always checked if boarding via the rear door.

  5. Those who cannot walk but need transit can use IndyGo paratransit service. Those who refuse to walk one block must drive or use other services. The stop elimination program is not specifically for the Red Line but is a systemwide changes. The advantage of Red Line stations for persons with limited/alternative mobility is level boarding, provided that the operators accurately dock buses, The gap between buses and the platform should be within 3 inches, not one foot away! And, yes, an object of bus or any rapid transit is fewer stops to speed travel. Center platforms – in the middle of the roadway – allow users to access buses in either direction at one location and reflect economies for fare machine and information. Stops on either side of the street doubles stop infrastructure elements and utilizes more space. And, one must bear in mind: a shorter distance to a center platform in the middle of the street or cross the entire street for the outbound or return trip. Rapid transit stops are typically every one-half mile, about 2640 feet, but may be closer or more distant depending on adjacent activity. For local bus routes, all the rest not including the Red Line, stops may be as close as every 300 to 350 feet. Absent high demand, a general guideline for local bus stop spacing outside major activity centers is every 500 to 600 feet. As Indianapolis is relatively flat in most of the service area, adjustments for topography do not significantly affect stop location. Routes have been adjusted with implementation of the Red Line. What has not yet occurred is the system reconfiguration to a more grid-like network.

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