May 9, 2021

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IPS board of school commissioners approves transportation changes

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners approved a plan to change some of their student transportation of the 2021-2022 school year.

The board approved a change that will move approximately 600 students off IPS yellow buses and onto IndyGo buses. The district said nearly 90% of these students would have a shorter journey time on IndyGo than their current yellow bus service.

“This decision didn’t happen overnight. There has been a tremendous amount of research, conversation and many options generated,” said Evan Hawkins, Board president. “I appreciate the thought that’s gone into scaling the IndyGo partnership. While change isn’t always easy, this will be good for the district and our students.”

When it comes to IndyGo, the district has had a pilot program with them. For the past two years, all high school students have had an unlimited IndyGo pass. Ridership data shows students have made more than 150,000 total unique rides on IndyGo since the pilot started.

In addition to the IndyGo move, the district will also implement walk zones at all schools, moving an additional 2,000 students off district transportation.

The walk zones have been around since the 1990s and outline which students would be assigned yellow bus service and which were close enough to walk. 

Executive Director for IPS Operations Zach Mulholland says they had a decline in funding from the city for crossing guards so they gave some students within walking distance bus service. 

Now they are funding more crossing guards and having more students walk in an effort that started last year due to COVID.

“With the Board’s approval of today’s transportation recommendations, we know our work does not end, it’s just moving into the next phase,” said Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “We are committed to the continued engagement and support of our families to ensure a transition that is smooth as we’re able to make it at the start of the next school year.” 

For more information about the district’s plan, visit the district’s website here.