Citilink experienced a four-year period of declining system ridership coupled with increasing costs for operations and maintenance. Add to the mix employment and residential growth occurring on the fringe that has leapfrogged low density residential areas and the result is a series of conflicts in needs relative to demand and expectation. SRF was retained by Citilink and the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordination Commission to complete a detailed assessment of the current system and develop a plan for improving the system over the next 10 years.
Central to the transit development plan was:
- Identifying areas of the community that can support transit service.
- Aligning the service area with the transit supportive areas.
- Identifying and evaluating a new range of service to the traditional fixed route, flex route, and paratransit service in the area.
- Addressing the financial constraints on Citilink through current funding limitation of property taxes that are used for the local match.
The program developed by SRF focused on engaging users and non-users to understand the needs and goals of each group. Recommendations resulted in being able to improve the cost effectiveness of service without substantial reductions in service and expansion of the local partnering opportunities to enhance funding.