IndyGo ridership rebounds, but remains down compared to 2019 amid pandemic

IndyGo ridership increased for the second consecutive month as more Hoosiers return to public transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The public transit agency reported a nearly 23% increase in passenger trips from May to June, which follows a 19.6% increase from April to May.

The Red Line, which saw traffic decline from April to May despite the increase in overall IndyGo ridership, also saw a bump from May to June: Traffic increased 15.9% on the rapid transit section.

While the month-to-month increases show a recent rebound for public transit, the figures remain grim when compared to 2019. Overall IndyGo ridership in 2020 is down 30.7% through the end of June. The number of passenger trips in June 2020 was 42.2% lower than June 2019, according to documents prepared for an IndyGo boarding meeting on Monday.

Spokesperson Lesley Gordon said it’s hard to draw conclusions about ridership right now, but factors like the mask requirement, more events being held, venues opening and people going back to work in-person may factor into the increase.

“We will continue to provide a safe and reliable service to the best of our ability,” Gordon wrote in an email to IndyStar. “It’s clear we have individuals that rely on our service even during a pandemic.”

The coronavirus pandemic led IndyGo to reduce its weekday service from March 29 until June 1. Overall ridership was at its lowest during these closures in April, when the number of passenger trips was 62.5% lower than it was in April 2019.

To keep drivers and passengers safe, IndyGo installed shields and increased cleaning efforts.

Contact IndyStar digital producer Ethan May at emay@indystar.com or 317-402-1058. Follow him on Twitter: @EthanMayJ.