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Posted by Allegra East on Sep 15, 2017

WHO RIDES THE BUS: Examining Transit Ridership in Marion County

Our September 14 SAVI Talks! program, WHO RIDES THE BUS: Examining Transit Ridership in Marion County, addressed a timely and interesting topic regarding public transit in Indianapolis. The event showcased findings from The Polis Center’s newest report, WHO RIDES THE BUS: Examining Transit Ridership in Marion County.

Kudos to report co-authors Kelly Davila, MS, Senior Research Analyst; Matt Nowlin,  MURP, Research Analyst; Unai Miguel Andres, MS, SAVI GIS technician; and Debra Hollon, MS, GIS Analyst, who compiled a rich and meaningful report.

They combined information from the recent IndyGo survey with a variety of neighborhood socio-economic factors from the SAVI community information system to better understand how and why certain groups of riders used the service.  The report provides general audiences with an informed geographic approach to transit to see how place plays into the equation.

Attendees also learned more about IndyGo’s expansion of transit service in Indianapolis through the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan from Bryan Luellen, Vice President of Public Affairs, IndyGo.

Another highlight of the morning was the excellent discussion let by moderator Matt Shafer Powell, Chief Content Officer, WFYI,  on related report concerns from various perspectives by esteemed panelists: Karissa  Hulse, Director of Development & Operations, IndyHub; James Taylor, Executive Director, John H. Boner Community Center; and Michael Twyman, PhD, Principal/Owner of InExcelsis Consulting.

Takeaways from the program include:

  • Half of the riders at this time commute to and from work, especially those with lower income.
  • Riders are a cross-section of people from nearly every neighborhood and economic status in Indianapolis. Some people rely on bus service in a life-sustaining way; others are becoming more willing to use it, but it is evident that is a different choice system.
  • Riding the bus is to a degree a social justice issue in Indianapolis.
  • Use of transit promotes economic mobility and improves educational, housing, and health outcomes.
  • Transit promotes social mobility, reducing social isolation by providing a link to shopping and social activities.
  • We need to work on changing the perception of using public transit in Indianapolis.  It is simply a means to get about, an affordable transportation option particularly when combined with affordable housing, and it connects people and the community.
  • The motivating factors for people moving back downtown is very different from what it used to be. These typically younger individuals are more inclusive and tolerant of differences and consider viable public transit for everybody the number one most important issue in their decision to stay in Indianapolis long-term. They want to choose transit but frequency, safety, and comfort are deciding factors.

If you missed the event, you may enjoy the PowerPoint presentations of Bryan Luellen and Kelly Davila and Matt Nowlin and download the report.

Most importantly, we thank our program partners: IndyGo, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, WFYI, The Polis Center at IUPUI, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, and IUPUI.

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Posted by Allegra East on Aug 28, 2017

SAVI Talks: Public Transit in Marion County

Join us Thursday, September 14!

Our fall SAVI Talks event will cover public transit in Marion County and feature data findings from our most recent community trends report authored by Polis Center professionals Kelly Davila, Senior Research Analyst, and Matt Nowlin, Research Analyst.

  • We’ll explore data findings from a public transit ridership survey and examine what they reveal about:
    • various types of transit riders and how they use transit.
    • how place plays into the equation.
  • Our distinguished panel will discuss the findings and consider what they show about:
    • opportunities to improve transit access.
    • implications for the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan

In addition, Bryan Luellen, Vice President of Public Affairs, IndyGo, will discuss IndyGo’s expansion of transit service in Indianapolis through the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan. Panelists for the broader discussion on the implications of the data findings include:

  • Karissa  Hulse, Director of Development & Operations, IndyHub
  • James Taylor, Executive Director, John H. Boner Community Center
  • Michael Twyman, PhD, Associate Faculty, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Matt Shafer Powell, Chief Content Officer, WFYI, will moderate.

The event will be held at WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202 from 7:45-10:00 a.m.  RSVP today!

SAVI Talks! Public Transit in Marion County is a collaboration of the following partners: The Polis Center, IU, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, WFYI, IndyGo, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

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Posted by Allegra East on Apr 14, 2016

Kelly Davila Named Senior Research Analyst

Kelly Davila websiteThe Polis Center at IUPUI has named Kelly Davila Senior Research Analyst. In this role, Davila will manage ongoing research and evaluation projects involving the SAVI digital community information system (savi.org), analyzing data, and explaining research findings and their implications with clear risk recommendations. SAVI helps nonprofits, academia, government, and health organizations assess trends and conditions, identify service gaps, and better target areas of concern based on the social, economic and other demographic realities in more than 2,000 Central Indiana communities.

Davila has a background in public policy research and urban development with specific experience in academic research, applied social science (archaeology, museum curation, and oral history), and transportation planning for city government.  Her major areas of emphasis include spatial analysis, spatial statistics, public policy analysis, and demographically-informed policy research. Prior to joining The Polis Center, Davila worked as a project engineer with the Trapeze Group in Cedar Rapids, IA.

She earned Master’s Degrees in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, where she attended as a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellow, and Anthropology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Davila is a native of San Antonio and obtained a BA degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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