If you're reading this, that's a good sign. If you're reading this, that means that the world didn't end and we can all go back to our usual daily lives, without fear of the scary 12/21/12 looming over our heads. I'm sure a lot of you are hungover, a lot of you are relieved, some maybe not relieved, but that all of you will hopefully take a minute to think about what you're thankful not to have lost today (yet) and can carry those positive thoughts as we continue through the holidays and into the new year.
I'd like to take this time for a year-end review, both personally and to have a look back at what we have accomplished in Indy this year in our push for public transit improvements.
Personally, it's been a whirlwind year on and off the bus, full of ups and downs and stories that I don't think many of you would believe if I felt comfortable putting them in writing. But the best thing that I've gained from the last year without a car is all of the awesome people I have met. This city is full of people with a passion for transit, both on a professional level and a personal level. I have met people with the power to make the decisions, people who advocate their hearts out and people who are advocates in their own right just by stepping on the bus every day and going to work.
I believe that in the past year I have made the jump from choice rider to dependent rider, which somehow makes me feels ike I deserve some street cred. I have become somewhat accustomed to this lifestyle. I have been mistaken for a hooker, seen lots of things I never want to see again, seen lots of things I wish I could see every day, lost things, found things, got lost, explored a lot of new places and overall have become a better and stronger person for it. As exhausting as it can be, I am glad I have had this year of my life and still do not foresee a car in my near future.
Especially with the good things on the horizon!
Earlier this year the City-County Council approved the 2013 IndyGo budget with about $6 million for service improvements, with the first phase beginning as early as February. These improvements include more frequent and additional service, a new route and more direct routing. On top of that, Indy has accomplished plans for a transit center, a Complete Streets ordinance, a finished Cultural Trail, miles and miles (and miles) of bike lanes, Commuter Connect services, Indy Express Bus, a large increase in ridership and so much more that I am undoubtedly missing and will likely be kicking myself for later.
After a year of struggle and fight, in legislation and on the ground, it is time to look forward and move ahead. 2013 will bring good changes to the city, with, in my opinion, the IndyGo expansion being at the top of the list and a catalyst for much-needed progress as we await the real end to the world.