This Is My Stop: Photos of IndyGo Riders

IndyGo’s Downtown Transit Center is finally opening.

This month, IndyGo’s Julia M. Carson Transit Center finally opens at the corner of Delaware and Washington Streets. For the people who use the bus every day—pictured here at stops throughout the city—the station is the first step toward improving what sometimes has been a bumpy ride.

Francisco Gonzalez, Server
Bus Stop: Corner of Michigan and Meridian Streets

“I moved to Los Angeles from Mexico in 1996. Then I came here for work, and the public transportation was horrible compared to L.A. It has improved a lot, but IndyGo still has to work on being on time and buses running on the weekends. Sometimes you get some shady characters on the bus, but they have police cars following right behind on weekends to keep people from fighting or acting up.”

Greg Meyer, Middle School Teacher
Bus Stop: Corner of Ohio and West Streets

Greg Meyer

“I was born without sight in my right eye, and in 2002, the other eye started going bad. The doctors eventually found tumors growing on my optic nerves. So I ride, rather than drive. What I think is going to be nice about the Transit Center is there will be a customer service person there. So you’ll be able to say, ‘I want to go to this place,’ and they’ll tell you how to get there, whether you have sight or not.”

Nicole Poindexter, IndyGo Bus Driver
Bus Stop: Corner of Capitol Avenue and Market Street

Nicole Poindexter

“I wish more people could take a turn in the driver’s seat. When you’re driving down the street and somebody cuts you off, it’s pretty hard to stop the bus. One of the funniest things that has happened to me was when a woman got on and asked me to take her to see her husband at his girlfriend’s house. I said, ‘Ma’am, I can’t do that.’ And she said, ‘You don’t know where this address is? You’re a bus driver! You must be new.’ I think she was mistaking the bus for a cab.”

Andrea Watts, Communication Coordinator at a TV Station
Bus Stop: Corner of East and Prospect Streets

Andrea Watts

“You’re not on your own time anymore—you’re basically making an appointment with your bus every morning. So you can’t sleep in. You have to plan your life. But I think more people should just try it, at least once. You want people to use it, because if they do, they’ll invest in it. I’m feeling optimistic about the future of IndyGo, especially with the new Transit Center and the plan for bus rapid-transit lines. We’re the 14th-largest city and have the 83rd-largest bus fleet. Indianapolis is often ranked below 40th in mass transit. We deserve better.”

Adam Cobb, Attorney
Bus Stop: Corner of Massachusetts Avenue and New Jersey Street

Adam Cobb

“Best way to end the day, in my opinion. I get on the bus and read, listen to music, and don’t have to fight traffic. The later at night you ride, the more interesting stories you have, but I’ve always felt safe on the bus. When I first started riding six years ago, friends would be like, ‘You ride the bus?’ But now several of them do it. I’m hoping that’s kind of catching on. This is perfectly normal, folks. Ride the bus. It’s okay.”

Malika Cook, College Student
Bus Stop: Corner of Madison and Terrace Avenues

Malika Cook

“I think the new Transit Center will be great in the winter. I’m slightly worried about the possibility that the homeless will misuse the facility, but that will resolve itself with time. Our system isn’t perfect, but IndyGo seems to be actively trying to copy other successful city plans, and that’s promising for the future. I’m excited to see how it develops.”

Efrain Alvarado, College Student
Bus Stop: IUPUI Campus Center

Efrain Alvarado

“In the summer, I bring my little brother and sister here to live with me for about a month so they can get away from Mom and Dad. And I’ll take them on the bus to restaurants or to get frozen yogurt. They’re used to it—if they want to go to the mall back home, they have to take the bus. And we’re in a city, after all.”

Frank Schwarzkopf, Graduate Student
Bus Stop: Corner of Ohio Street and Capitol Avenue

Frank Schwarzkopf

“Some interesting people ride the bus. I remember one ride with a guy who told me he was a Vietnam veteran. He was kind of reliving his experiences, like, ‘Have you ever shot somebody right between the eyes and seen their brains fly out right in front of you?’ And he said that, like, five times. He was pulling the cord over and over to call for a stop, and when the driver would stop, he’d say, ‘Never mind!’ Finally, the driver just told him he had to get off.”

Carly Weidman, Community Engagement Coordinator at a TV Station
Bus Stop: Corner of Meridian Street and Vermont Avenue

Carly Weidman

“I live downtown in a single-car family, so when going to work, running errands, or meeting friends, I often ride the bus. Recently, while waiting at my usual stop, I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman. The conversation started generic, but soon I was learning so much about this guy: the changes he has seen in the city in the last several decades; how he lost the love of his life after being married to her for many years; how his only son, the light of his world, has been in and out of the legal system, and how he would do anything for him. I think we tend to focus on how divided we are. But there are so many fascinating people living in Indianapolis. I love getting to hear their stories one person at a time on the bus.”

Kate Dobson, Assistant Director of International Admissions at IUPUI
Bus Stop: Corner of Alabama Street and Massachusetts Avenue

Kate Dobson

“For years, I dismissed IndyGo as inadequate. Finally, I realized that my actions needed to match my words if I believed in transit. So now I ride. One day, on the No. 17, I met a woman named Joy. We struck up a conversation, and she told me, ‘When things go wrong, I just remind myself to smile.’ She repeated this mantra a few times and had me feeling so positive by the time I got off the bus. When using public transportation, not all of your interactions are going to be positive. But I believe moments of human connection like that are so important to maintaining a society.”

Ellen Fortthofer, Graduate Assistant
Bus Stop: Corner of Central Avenue and 13th Street

Ellen Forthofer

“I think the Transit Center will make it a lot less intimidating to take the bus for those who don’t regularly ride. You won’t be able to miss where it drops off and picks up downtown. And alternative modes of transportation like the bus are just more financially and environmentally responsible. I think it’s important that we continue to expand bus service and the construction of bike infrastructure in Indy.”