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IndyGo to alter bus routes due to driver shortage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IndyGo says 12 of its bus routes will be streamlined to make up for driver shortages.

The agency needs to hire 100 drivers to be fully staffed.

Routes that will be affected include 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 26, 28, 31, 38, 55 and 902. A new route, 56, will be introduced. Routes 12 ,13, 14 and 55 will be consolidated.

The changes, which are posted online, will begin June 11.

IndyGo spokesperson Carrie Black said, “There will be a total of four routes where the frequency will change, so that could be something where a bus arrives every 30 minutes. It may not arrive until every 45 minutes or maybe every 60 minutes.”

Frequency will be reduced on some routes, and increased on others. Those routes could go back to their original schedules after IndyGo is fully staffed.

The agency is offering drivers a starting pay of $20 an hour, health benefits plus free training for the  commercial driver’s license.

But, attracting new hires hasn’t been easy, Black said. “IndyGo is not unique in this at all. This is a national crisis. When the pandemic hit the number of bus drivers, the workforce, decreased dramatically.”

IndyGo will have a virtual meeting to discuss the changes on May 16.

On the two following days, transit center open houses will allow more discussion of the changes. The open houses will run from 6-8 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. both days.

This version of this story corrects the date when the changes will begin.