Community Transit Supporters Launch Grassroots Effort “Transit Drives Indy”

Indy Chamber News Archives

“Many of our program participants possess the hard skills and work experience needed to secure employment with wages that will allow them to provide comfortably for their families. However, limited and/or unavailable public transportation to certain areas makes it very difficult for people to secure and retain employment with employers paying higher salaries,” explained Tony Mason, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League. “Mass transit improvements would make it possible for our participants to seek, secure and retain employment with employers offering higher salaries with competitive benefits packages. It would also allow our participants as well as other members of the Indianapolis community to more easily access other amenities such as healthcare services, educational institutions, grocers, etc. It will help empower people towards self-sufficiency.”

The Marion County Transit Plan will provide:

  • 70% increase in the frequency of bus service, offering every route on every day;
  • later evenings and weekend service; and
  • 3 bus rapid transit lines.

Transit is a vital service that connects people to jobs and companies to employees while offering economic opportunity and mobility to our residents who need it most.

“Improved mass transit will better connect the people and places of urban Indianapolis to opportunity, increasing access to jobs, education, food, and health,” said Tedd Grain, deputy director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. “This will significantly improve the quality of life for existing Indianapolis neighborhood residents.”

But the benefits of improved transit are more than just economic. Some of our most vulnerable neighbors depend on transit for access to health care. Our transit system requires urgent attention in order to provide independence for our senior-aged residents and individuals with disabilities. Reliable transit helps to end isolation.

With a projected cost of less than $10 per month for the average Indianapolis household, the Marion County Transit Plan will bring a 178% increase in the number of residents near a frequent route and a 68% increase in jobs near a frequent route. Due to limited transit options in Indianapolis, low and moderate income families often have to purchase and maintain a car that they can ill afford. These families typically spend over 30% of their income on transportation costs, which ranks Indianapolis as second worst among large metros.

Voters will have an opportunity to voice their support for the next Marion County Transit Plan on November 8. Visit to hear stories of what improved transit would mean to your neighbors, coworkers, and fellow Hoosiers. View profiles of current and future riders here. Transit Drives Indy has advocates interested in speaking to groups around the city. To request a speaker, visit


Transit Drives Indy is a collaboration of organizations and individuals dedicated to supporting transit development in the city of Indianapolis.

The following statements of support for Transit Drives Indy are from some of the leading organizations for grassroots change in Indianapolis. 


“AARP Indiana works statewide to ensure that our 840,000 members are able to successfully age in place.  It’s critical that we work to build livable communities for Hoosiers 50+.  AARP Indiana stands with local businesses, faith leaders, and community advocates in supporting better, more accessible public transportation.  Mass transit is just one piece to the puzzle here in Indianapolis for individuals who seek alternative options for daily activities that do not require driving a car.  Reliable bus service means that your friends and neighbors can get to their jobs, that your parents and grandparents can get to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store, and that members of the community can access shopping centers and businesses.  A better connected Indianapolis that serves all is essential to building a livable community.”
Sarah Waddle, State Director
AARP Indiana
[email protected]
(317) 423-7110

Hoosier Environmental Council
“Efficient, successful public transit provides substantial environmental benefits, reducing motor vehicle pollution, moving more people with less energy, and making walkable, mixed use neighborhoods more attractive.  For these reasons the Hoosier Environmental Council strongly supports the Marion County Transit referendum.” 
Tim Maloney, Senior Policy Director
Hoosier Environmental Council
[email protected]
(812) 369-8677

ICAT – a division of Health by Design
“Expanded, enhanced and efficient transit service is an essential ingredient of healthy, active, vibrant communities. A robust transportation network that includes buses, sidewalks, bikeways and trails offers residents and visitors better access to jobs, services and shopping and more meaningful connections to friends, neighbors and the greater community. In order for Indianapolis to grow, attract talent and remain competitive, we must invest in mobility options that serve people of all ages, abilities and income-levels.”
Kim Irwin, Executive Director
Health by Design

[email protected]
(317) 701-0093

Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association

“When it comes to growing the hospitality industry and creating new opportunities for employees, public transit is key. Currently, hundreds of positions across Indianapolis go unfilled due to the simple fact that job seekers do not have access to public transportation as a means of getting to work. Accessible mass transit will not only help expand career opportunities but also allow the hospitality industry to drive tourism and economic activity to new areas of the city encouraging people to stay and explore.”

Patrick Tamm, President & CEO, Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association
Media Contact:
Sarah Stegmeyer, Director of Communications
[email protected] 
(815) 409-6662

Indy Chamber
“Reliable, accessible mass transit is essential to moving our city forward. Indy deserves a system that helps people get to work, brings new investment to our neighborhoods and offers independence to residents who rely on public transportation every day. Supporting transit is an investment in self-sufficiency and upward mobility – one that will pay off for all of us.”
Michael Huber, President & CEO, Indy Chamber
Media Contact:
Mark Fisher, Vice President, Government Relations and Policy Development
Indy Chamber

[email protected]
(317) 464-2291 or (317) 408-7822

"This is what we know: millennials value urban density and are seeking communities where car ownership is a choice, not a necessity. We also know that tomorrow’s young professionals are choosing to delay or even forego getting drivers’ licenses.

“Indianapolis is perfectly positioned to be the city of choice for the next generation of skilled workers. Today more than ever, talent is moving to the middle; choosing a city that provides them an affordable lifestyle, great job, culture and the freedom to live without a car. Access to public transit is the missing piece of our puzzle. As cities become increasingly competitive for talent, Indianapolis simply can't afford to not act.”

Karissa Hulse, Director of Programs & Community Partnerships
(317) 289-9365

MIBOR REALTOR® Association
"Public transportation investment will enhance quality of life in central Indiana and give people greater access to more housing opportunities throughout our city,” said Roger Lundy, MIBOR President and local REALTOR®. “We also believe it is a critical factor in keeping our region competitive in the future in attracting and keeping a talented workforce. MIBOR REALTOR® Association is vitally interested in the future of the communities where REALTORS® do business. We want these communities to thrive as both attractive places to conduct business and vibrant places to live and visit.”
Roger Lundy, MIBOR President
Media Contact:
Lacey Everett, Government and Community Relations Strategist
MIBOR REALTOR® Association

[email protected]
(317) 525-2234 (call/text)

United Way of Central Indiana
"United Way of Central Indiana knows that a robust transit system is critical to creating opportunity and allowing residents to achieve self-sufficiency. As such, we support Transit Drives Indy." 
Ann D. Murtlow, President & CEO, United Way of Central Indiana
Media Contact:
Jessica DiSanto, Director of Communications
United Way of Central Indiana

[email protected]
(317) 921-1224 or (317) 292-5608 

Eds: Statements of support from community organizations that are leaders in advancing Indianapolis included at end.

INDIANAPOLIS - Today a grassroots coalition known as Transit Drives Indy announced its collaborative effort to improve transit in Indianapolis. Comprised of transit users, transit supporters, and the impactful grassroots organizations who represent them, Transit Drives Indy is spreading the message about the urgent need for improvements to Indianapolis's critical IndyGo transportation system through the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan.

Have some news you want to share with the Indy Chamber organization?
Login to Submit Your News

Member Stories

Foreign Diplomatic Corps Visits Indy Region

On May 6-8, over 30 foreign ambassadors representing countries across four continents joined Ambassador Sean P. Lawler, Chief of Protocol of the United States, to engage local business and community... read more

Join Our Newsletter

Get updates to your inbox with the latest news and updates from Indy Chamber.