Real-time bus tracking monitors not working at Red Line stations

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Overhead digital screens at Red Line stations are not consistently showing accurate bus arrival times, an IndyGo representative acknowledged Monday.

The agency disabled its “real-time” bus tracking system on station monitors to allow for diagnostics and repairs, a spokesperson told News 8.

Screens were updated with a message also posted on IndyGo’s Instagram stories: “We’re currently addressing the performance of our real-time arrival screens at Red Line stations. In the meantime, please utilize the MyStop mobile application or our real-time arrival text service [text IND stop ID to 321123] for updates on Red Line bus arrival times.”

The faulty monitors sometimes showed buses arriving more than 20 minutes before a driver pulled up at the station, according to passengers.

However, without the monitors, some passengers said they had no way of checking wait times.

“I just have a regular flip phone,” said Damone Hobbs, a South Broad Ripple resident who works as a cook in downtown Indianapolis.

He bikes or rides the bus to work because he doesn’t have a car. He also doesn’t have a smart phone, iPad or other mobile device with access to IndyGo’s recommended MyStop app.

Hobbs waited nearly 30 minutes Monday evening at 46th Street and College Avenue for a southbound Red Line bus, he said.

Managers at the Illinois Street restaurant where he works are usually understanding when bus delays cause him to be late, he added. 

“But sometimes they just tell me, ‘Well, you need to catch an earlier bus,'” Hobbs said. “The delays are really frustrating.”

Brett Hulse, another commuter who works downtown, said he had ridden the Red Line to and from work every weekday since it launched in early September.

“Both my wife and myself have been really happy with it,” Hulse said, adding the rapid transit project had been a motivating factor for them to move from downtown to South Broad Ripple. “I think it’s important to have realistic expectations at the outset.”

Lauren Day, a spokesperson for IndyGo, also urged passengers to be patient as the agency addressed “growing pains” with its new Red Line service.

“The Red Line is a new service for our agency and the city, and the public is experiencing the growing pains with us,” Day said Monday in an emailed statement to News 8. “In reference to the real time screen functionality, it is not yet working reliably to the degree that the agency feels comfortable providing as a resource to our riders. IndyGo encourages everyone to download and use the MyStop app in the interim.”

IndyGo representatives were unable to confirm when real-time bus tracking monitors would be available again. 

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