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IndyGo extends free Red Line rides again, citing technical difficulties in pay system

IndyGo extends free Red Line rides again, citing technical difficulties in pay system

Sierra Hignite | News 8 at 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – IndyGo is once again extending it’s free rides on the Red Line. The Red Line will now be free to ride through December 1. The reason: IndyGo still has problems with the system designed to collect the fares.

When IndyGo launched the Red Line on September 1 they planned to allow a month of free rides to entice interest in the new system. But one month has quickly turned to three.

“There was a delay with the delivery of the fare collection technology so that is the ticket vending machine, the mobile application that caused us to extend the free fares one time and this is the second extension of the free fares,” says Bryan Luellen with IndyGo.

IndyGo and riders had planned on paying in the months of October and November.

“I really think that they didn’t really plan it out very well,” says IndyGo user Ashley Hardwick.

IndyGo says they plan on getting the money back that has been lost throughout the technically difficulty.

“We have a contract with the vendor that is responsible for providing us with the fare collection technology and a provision in that contract is that we will be able to recoup forgone revenue because of the project failures,” says Luellen.

Just within the first month of operation, the Red Line saw about 250,000 trips.

“At this point, we are assuming at the base fare of a $1.75 times the number of rides is the neighborhood that we are looking at,” says Luellen.

If ridership in October and November is anywhere near what it was in the month of September, Flowbird will be expected to pay IndyGo back an estimated $875,000.

Starting December 1 IndyGo says Red Line users will start paying through a temporary system.

“That is a paper ticket that is a temporary solution and you’ll be able to use cash or credit card at the temporary ticket vending machines,” says Luellen.

Fare inspectors will be riding the buses to check and make sure everyone on board has purchased the proper ticket.

Starting December 1 you can use the ticket vending machine located at each Red Line station to purchase:

  • Two hour pass – $1.75
  • Day pass- $4
  • Week pass – $20

Unlimited monthly pass need to be purchased through customer service either online or at the transit station. That pass is $60.

News 8 reached out to Flowbird for a comment on the set back, they have not responded.